Jared Fralix, Beaufort County Assistant County Administrator of Infrastructure

Thomas Boxley: Gullah Geechee Historic Neighborhoods CDC Executive Director

Thursday, June 6, 2024

The featured speakers at the June 6th monthly GIC Members Meeting were Jared Fralix, Beaufort County Assistant County Administrator, Engineering followed by Thomas Boxley, Executive Director, Gullah Geechee Historic Neighborhoods Community Development Corporation.

Jared Fralix began by sharing that the GIC early birds are indeed catching the worm. The preceding evening the Beaufort County Transportation Sales Tax Committee had met to finalize the proposed sales tax amount and breakouts of expenditures and we were the first folks outside of that room to see the finished product. Committee members include leaders and senior staff from SC State government, County Council, SCDOT and the town of Hilton Head.

Click here to view or print the two slides Jared presented:

  • The 15-year $1.625B program that was previously on the table passed two readings and then was put out for community input.
  • The 10-year $950M program is the modified/current version incorporating community input that will be presented for a 3rd reading on June 24th.
  • The final reading must be conducted by August 15 to get on the November ballot.
  • 60% of sales tax money comes from residents and 40% from visitors/tourists.

The 278 Corridor Project:

  • There is a $190M gap on the 278 Gateway Corridor project. Currently have $300M in total funding, but new cost projection is $490 (69%). The new proposal pushes 278 funding up to $90M.
  • In 2017 Gas Tax went up 16 cents to 28 cents. SC has 4th largest number of roads in the US (42K miles) and is responsible for Interstate, Bridges, safety, and resurfacing 8000 bridges, 800 in poor condition.
  • Execution of the final contract for the 278 Gateway Corridor project will freeze costs (except for change orders) but the project specifications and design won’t exist until well after the project has final approval so, final bids are not expected until late ’26 or early ’27.
  • Municipal Consent – hoping to get a positive vote on June 18.

NOTE: there is a special Town Council Workshop to discuss the project and impending municipal consent that is OPEN TO THE PUBLIC on Monday, June 17th at 5 pm at Council Chambers at HHI Town Hall, 1 Town Center Court.

Thomas Boxley gave us an update on the 278 Gateway Corridor and his work to mitigate the impact on the Gullah community.

  • 2 bridges, one is 75 years old and one is 40 years old spans, the prior is at the end of its functional lifespan.
  • Our bridges carry an average of 60,000 daily traffic counts.
  • The Stoney community has borne the brunt of island development.
  • Tom wants Stoney property owners to be prepared for either a yes or a no vote.
  • Tom meets and talks to residents individually and in groups on a regular basis. His position is unbiased. His mission is to provide the best possible governmental support possible.
  • June 12: the William Hilton Advisory Council will present designs.
  • June 17: Town Council workshop (see above).
  • June 18: Town Council meets to vote on municipal consent and MOU.