HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C (WSAV) — The Daufuskie Island Ferry could soon see a new home on Hilton Head Island.
The new docking station would help Daufuskie residents navigate to and from the island while also improving conditions for people who wait for the ferry to pick them up.
“So, the county staff over the last year has been able to locate two properties,” said Christopher Ophardt, Beaufort County public information officer. “One on Hilton Head and over on Daufuskie to move the ferry locations on either side.”
“The Hilton head side is currently just a wooded lot, so it would be designing what that ferry location would look like, parking, and then working on a relationship with the surrounding businesses.”
In 2016, Hurricane Matthew destroyed the last docking station the ferry belonged to.
The ferry then moved to Buckingham Landing in early 2017 as a temporary location. But, after problems with parking and constant resident complaints, they want the ferry to be gone for good.
“Residents were patient and now are becoming impatient, rightfully so, the Hilton head side is where it needs to be, that’s where Daufuskie, the airport is, and public transportation is,” Christopher said.
Beaufort County staff hope to reach a deal so, that Daufuskie residents can have a better quality of life, while also building something that will last for years to come.
“So, the biggest hold up is money, property owners, they want fair market value, or a little more, they also see future investments that they could get and only the county side we see a public need for a ferry to Daufuskie for the residents and for the businesses that are on Daufuskie,” Christopher said.
Beaufort County staff have been working all summer to finalize a deal. And, they a deal will be reached sometime in the next few weeks.