Mayor’s memo: Things to look for in Hardeeville this year
Happy New Year! January is the time to make lists for the coming year and so I thought it appropriate to give you mine. 2018 promises to be another banner year for Hardeeville; and although my crystal ball is sometimes fuzzy, here are the top 10 new things that will impact the city in the coming year:
1. Latitude Margaritaville will open the new sales center in February and begin selling lots by March. I’ve seen the Daytona Beach center and it is quite amazing. Home buyers waited in line overnight in a carnival atmosphere to be among the first to buy a lot. The same reaction is expected in Hardeeville. What we are all eagerly anticipating are the plans for the commercial site of 72 acres. Stay tuned as Hardeeville becomes the “Latitude with an Attitude.”
2. On Martin St., renovations will be completed in early 2018 on the Police Headquarters/Municipal Court Building; and the Hargray Building where the Fire Department will have administrative offices and training facilities. The Hargray Building is near completion and inside has been totally transformed.
3. Also on Martin St., Fire Station 81 will break ground this winter on a new building on the existing site. It will replace the existing sixty-year-old obsolete building and will have a brick front like the rest of the City structures. This beautiful new addition will open by this time next year.
4. To complete the transformation of the Main/Martin St. corridor, the old City Hall building will continue to be renovated and the surrounding park will be updated. With the addition of the Library last year, this corner of Municipal buildings will be a source of pride for the entire Community.
5. The much anticipated multipurpose Community Center will break ground in 2018. The city is still deliberating on the site but architectural plans are complete, financing is being approved and the location should be determined in the first half of 2018.
6. Coastal Carolina Hospital will break ground in early 2018 on a new Emergency Care Facility on the corner of Okatie Highway and Tidewatch Blvd. (near the Sun City entrance). This is an important addition to the medical services available to the City’s growing population.
7. Waste Management will begin construction of its new State of the Art, environment friendly, vehicle servicing facility that will feature compressed natural gas refueling stations. This is the first company to occupy the 5,100 acre River Port Planned Development District and the City fully expects that this will be the first of many new light industrial projects to occupy this district. There is hope for more good news in 2018.
8. The city-owned “Hardeeville Commerce Park” has added water and sewer lines into this 165 acre district near Exit 5 and the city has two companies who have indicated their “intent to buy.” Look for these announcements this winter. There are several other indications of “strong interest” which adds to the City’s optimism for significant development of this Park in 2018.
9. The election date for Hardeeville has been changed from May to November. There are two council seats to be decided, currently held by Councilman David Spisso and Councilwoman Carolyn Kassel. Both seats are “at large” for every eligible voter to decide. Hardeeville is a “non-partisan” government and each elected official has no political party affiliation; any Hardeeville resident can run for office and the highest two vote getters will be seated.
10. 2018 should end with construction underway of a new community in the East Argent Planned Development District. It will also mark the beginning of a great new asset for the City of Hardeeville and the residents of the Lowcountry.
Based on the activity coming into City Hall every day, we can surely expect the list of economic developments to grow as the year continues. Good things come from economic development; such as new jobs and the building projects mentioned above. But expect (arguably) the best benefit of all: As the City Council deliberates on the Fiscal Year 2018-2019 budget this spring expect the Council to lower the millage again for the seventh straight year! That will make 2018 a Happy Year indeed.
Harry Williams is the mayor of the city of Hardeeville.