Letters to the Editor

Sea Pines community should decide dredging

Whether to dredge, how and who pays for it are questions facing Sea Pines property owners, those few who own and use the community waterways and marinas and town government.

Unfortunately, the July 14 column by state Rep. Andy Patrick and statements by officials from Community Services Associates and the Association of Sea Pines Plantation Property Owners conflate the issue of beach renourishment (public) and harbor dredging (private). Also ignored is who pays and how costs (taxes) are allocated. This has not been resolved or even received serious thought, given statements they have made.

At a July 11 meeting, approximately 300 Sea Pines property owners clearly indicated that they are not against dredging. They are against legislation that enables town authorities to control the process and to dictate the terms of payment, especially with no acceptable payment formula having been agreed on by those who would foot the bill.

The consensus was that the community must first decide what is an acceptable allocation of costs, not leaving themselves vulnerable to decisions by the town, which may be influenced by vested interests not representing the interests of Sea Pines.

With sober and intelligent thought given to the issue of payment, it should be possible for the community to resolve the problems by negotiation and mutual agreement, independent of some external force.

A municipal improvement district isn't necessary; it's undesirable. The legislation should be abandoned at the request of those who are supposed to represent the interests of the Sea Pines community.

Karl Engelman

Hilton Head Island

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