HILTON HEAD ISLAND, SC (WSAV) – A battle between Beaufort County and the Town of Hilton Head over money was threatening to shut down an important service on the Island.
But a County committee has changed the fate of the Hilton Head Convenience Center.
More than 345,000 people use the facility every year. 1500 or more each day according to staff.
But the word went out last week that the place people go to “dump” their trash could be dumped itself at the end of the year.
Beaufort County had only funded the Center through January 1. and the Town of Hilton Head said even though the facility was on Town property, it wasn’t going to pay for its operation.
“We don’t want to run the center,” said Assistant Hilton Head Town Manager Josh Gruber. “We don’t know if we should be paying for this center because the county operates a number of these centers around the county both in municipal areas and outside municipal areas. And they do that as a service to county residents. So as Hilton Head residents are residents of the county that’s a service they should be provided with as well.”
And Gruber was concerned if the Center closed what people might do next with their garbage.
“If you don’t make a convenient and viable way for people to dispose of their waste they are going to find alternatives. and sometimes those alternatives are not appropriate,” explained the Asst Town Manager.
But all the talk apparently led to a change of mind Monday night.
“The convenience center there will be no change for them, the convenience center will stay open,” said County Manager Ashley Jacobs.
At it’s meeting Monday, the County Public Facilities Committee voted to keep the Hilton Head Center up and running all fiscal year long.
The hours will change at all Centers countywide to a 7:30 a.m. to 6 pm schedule.
The facilities will be County residents only.
Residents will have to get a decal, and will be limited to two trips a week.
The County Manager says cutting back tourists or commercial dumping will cut down on weight and costs significantly.
“Our costs continue to escalate at these sites in part because either we have people coming in from out of county or we have commercial c and d going in and that costs us because we pay by the ton,” said Jacobs.
The news isn’t all good. Two of the less used centers, Prichardville in Bluffton and Gate Center in Beaufort will be closing at the end of the year.
If this plan is approved by the full County Council, you can start applying for a decal, which will be free, in October.
The new system will officially start January 1.