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News Release

Hilton Head Island Mayor John McCann Announces that Town will be rescheduling $65 Million Referendum

Release Date: February 13, 2020

Contact Information:
Carolyn Grant email icon , Communications Director, 843-341-4618

Hilton Head Island Mayor John McCann announced that the Town will be rescheduling its proposed $65 million referendum.

"Over the past several weeks, many of our residents have expressed their support for the concept of a referendum to the individual members of Town Council, while at the same time making known their concerns over the timing of the election and the level of detail available on the several projects that have been contemplated," said Mayor McCann in announcing his decision to postpone the election. "We have listened to our constituents, and decided to take a step back," he said.

"I remain convinced that this Quality of Life Referendum represents a tremendous opportunity to move the Island forward in a significant way, but it has become clear that now is not the time. I will be recommending to Town Council that we reset the election for November 2021," Mayor McCann said. "In the interim, we will move forward with the planning for each of the identified projects."

This will include finalizing the details of an agreement with the University of South Carolina Beaufort (USCB) and the Arts Center of Coastal Carolina, Inc., allowing USCB to assume ownership and operation of the current performing arts facility at Shelter Cove. Staff will work with the community to complete the update to the Parks and Recreation Master Plan and bring it forward for adoption as part of the Town's Comprehensive Plan.

Mayor McCann has urged the boards of the Coastal Discovery Museum and the Historic Mitchelville Freedom Park to move forward with the planning and permitting necessary to position those projects for future funding consideration. The Mayor has asked the Town Manager to identify funding options in the Town's upcoming budget so that more detailed planning for the parks and recreation facilities and the arts campus can commence in the next fiscal year starting July 1, in conjunction with the FY21 Capital Improvements Program.

"While having the confidence that we could actually fund these projects would have been ideal, we will move forward to develop the level of detail that our citizens indicated they desire before being asked to vote," Mayor McCann said.