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Edisto leaders talk plans for future

Leaders at Edisto Beach recently talked about the impacts that Colleton’s beachfront community has faced in years past, all while looking to the future and making plans to protect the coastal town and improve infrastructure needs.
The town’s plan was presented as part of the recent State of Colleton, a communitywide morning meeting that put the county’s elected leaders in front of its taxpayers. The State of Colleton is an annual event. This year, the event was sponsored by the Walterboro-Colleton Chamber of Commerce, PRTC and Dominion Energy.
According to the plan presented at the State of Colleton by Edisto Beach Mayor Jane Darby, Edisto experienced several big impacts in recent years.
Recovering from the impacts of these storms has been a priority for the town’s leaders. The impacts include: Hurricane Joaquin in 2015 caused $1.5 million in damage; 2016’s Hurricane Matthew caused $3.2 million at the beach; Hurricane Irma in 2017 caused $2.1 million in damage, and Hurricane Florence in 2018 caused $45,000 in damage.
As a part of the recovery efforts, the town underwent groin repair along the beaches. Tennis courts were also repaired, along with renourishment and infrastructure improvement projects along Myrtle Street.
Challenges that the town face include drainage, fire-medical protection and the increase in the number of day visitors coming to Edisto Beach.
Included in the list of goals that town leaders have include cross training fire-rescue personnel and retaining more of its emergency employees. The town’s leaders also have goals to rebuild depleted emergency and beach funds and to focus on the partnership with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. This partnership with the Corps will help Edisto Beach with its ongoing beachfront storm reduction programs and renourishment needs.
This partnership includes the town’s oceanfront property owners giving easements to the Corps for any necessary work that may be needed.
“Thanks to Colleton County for their support. We value the relationship we have with them,” said Edisto Beach Mayor Jane Darby, during her presentation at the recent State of Colleton presentation.
The Town of Edisto Beach operates on an annual budget of about $7.1 million. Tourism is the top money maker at Edisto Beach, with leaders saying they have a plan for ecotourism to also contribute to the town’s economy.
The town has about 2,287 housing units: about 1,800 of those are rental homes or secondary houses. The Town of Edisto Beach consists of 414 year-round residents, based on the most recent documented 2010 national population census.
The average age of Edisto residents is 67 years old.
In addition to elected leaders from Edisto Beach, the Walterboro Mayor also attended the State of Colleton event. Also, a member of Colleton County Council was present, in addition to representatives from the Colleton County Legislative Delegation.

Heather Walters (1487 Posts)