Lowcountry Tax Dollars Help Fund Park Redevelopment - Local news, weather, sports Savannah | WSAV On Your Side

Lowcountry Tax Dollars Help Fund Park Redevelopment

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HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. -

A new park will cost Hilton Head taxpayers millions of dollars. The Shelter Cove Community Park will be moved to accommodate a new apartment complex.

News 3's Brittany Shane went out to investigate where your money is going, and why.

The Shelter Cove redevelopment plan includes an apartment complex where the current park sits and a new park behind the mall.

"Part of the deal was that we swap them our existing, the land where our existing park is, for the land where the new park will be. And part of the deal was they would split the cost of developing that new park," said Mayor Drew Laughlin.

That cost -- more than $4 million-- and half will be coming from taxpayers. But is this move even necessary? Why not move the apartments, and leave the community park where it is and not cost taxpayers $2 million?

"Well, because we wanted it oriented toward the water. We wanted the whole thing oriented toward the water. The shopping center, the new commercial spaces, if we put apartments there they simply would have blocked the view of Broad Creek, from the commercial spaces," said Laughlin.

The Island Rec Center staff holds several festivals here each year there, from WIngFest, OysterFest, and Seafood Fest, to less popular events like Snow Day.... and they have concerns about the move.

"Wingfest for example, we have four-thousand people coming through here, and that's 18 restaurants, three beer trucks, a kids zone, and that's a lot to put into this park right now, but going forward to the next one, I just hope there's going to be enough room. That's what worries me," said Joe Cain. 

But Cain says there's an even bigger issue. 

"Parking is an issue for all of our festivals, so that's our biggest concern will there be enough parking over there. We've been paying shuttles while they're redoing the mall so that gets expensive, so parking is our biggest issue."

An issue that the town and developers say they are working to address.

The entire Shelter Cove development project -- including the mall, community park, and apartment complex -- is expected to be finished sometime in 2015.

For more on the park and what it may look like go to http://www.hiltonheadislandsc.gov/boards/agendas/2013packets/parks-10-24-2013-pack.pdf

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