Update from Deputy Town Manager 10/30/2020

An Update from Deputy Town Manager Josh Gruber 10/30/2020

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October 31 Marks Official End of Sea Turtle Nesting Season
October 31 marks the official end of sea turtle nesting season. This year, the Hilton Head Sea Turtle Patrol reported nearly 46% fewer nests on Hilton Head Island beaches. They documented 291 nests for 2020 compared to 463 nests in 2019. They noted a 76% success rate with nest hatches. Unfortunately, 38 nests became misoriented due to violations with beachfront lighting. Beachfront lighting is an issue we are continuing to work on. Our Town Council’s Public Planning Committee held a workshop on October 29 to discuss the proposed Sea Turtle Protection Ordinance, which addresses regulations for beachfront lighting. The Committee is expected to review the proposed ordinance again at its November meeting. Meanwhile, we thank Amber Kuehn, who heads the Hilton Head Island Sea Turtle Patrol, and her group of dedicated volunteers who patrol the beach from May 1st through the end of hatching season. Overall across the state, sea turtles had a productive nesting season. Preliminary estimates show sea turtles laid approximately 5,500 nests on South Carolina beaches.

Daylight Savings Time Ends November 1: Roll Those Clocks Back and Change Your Fire Alarms
Daylight savings times ends on November 1. Remember to roll back your clocks at 2 a.m. Sunday, November 1. Daylight savings time is also a valuable reminder to change the batteries in your smoke alarms. Doing it now will prevent the annoying “chirping” reminder we sometimes get when batteries reach the end of their life cycle. Remember working smoke alarms give you an early warning so you can get outside quickly in case of a fire. Also, be sure to replace all smoke alarms when they are 10 years old. The manufacturer’s date can be found on the underside of the alarm.

Six out of ten residential fire deaths occur in homes without smoke alarms. Working smoke alarms cut your chances of dying in a house fire in half. If you can’t reach the smoke alarm to change your batteries or if you can’t afford a smoke alarm, please reach out to our Fire Rescue Public Education Office at 843-682-5141 for guidance. Visit our website at https://hiltonheadislandsc.gov/departments/fire/smokealarms.cfm for more information on smoke alarms.

Park Hours for Fall/Winter Seasons
Daylight savings time is the time that we change opening and closing times at most of our beach and community parks. Starting this weekend, park hours will be 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Visit https://hiltonheadislandsc.gov/ourisland/Parks/parksandfacall.cfm for more information on park hours and amenities.

Open Park Days: Join Us Outdoors to Learn About the Parks + Recreation Master Plan
What better way to connect with our staff and share your thoughts on our Parks + Recreation Master Plan than to be outdoors with them at some of our parks. Our staff has planned two Open Park events, where you can join them to view maps and information based on recommendations suggested for our parks. Community input on parks and recreation will help us prioritize recommendations. We’ll be physically distant and following other guidelines to limit the spread of COVID-19 while we gather public input. Be sure to add these dates and times to your calendar:

Thursday, November 5, 2020
1 p.m. – 5 p.m. at Jarvis Creek Community Park
Thursday, November 12, 2020
10 a.m. – 2 p.m. at Shelter Cove Community Park

Whether you can or can’t join us for Open Park Days, we hope you’ll take our survey about the Parks + Recreation Master Plan. It is available now through November 11 on Open Town Hall at https://www.opentownhall.com/9830

Town Accepting Special Events Applications as of November 1
Beginning Monday, November 1, the Town will begin accepting applications for special events with attendance greater than 250 persons. We know there are many organizations anxious to get their events back on track. We’ve been fielding a number of calls from different groups hoping to reconnect in person with their supporters, host business meetings and organize fundraisers.  In addition to the requirements set forth in the special event application, the applicant will be required to submit the CDC Readiness and Planning Tool with accompanying documentation for approval to address public health concerns occurring before, during, and after the event. The tool can be found at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/downloads/community/COVID19-events-gatherings-readiness-and-planning-tool.pdf or on the Town’s website under Special Events and COVID19:

COVID-19 Updates:

Where to Find Zip Code Data on Local COVID-19 Cases
If you are seeking local COVID-19 data by zip code, please visit the website for the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control at www.scdhec.gov. DHEC is testing some changes to its data sharing capabilities. This has temporarily affected our ability to share this information on the COVID-19 hub page on our website. We will keep you updated on this development once we have more information.

Where to Get a COVID-19 Test
Free COVID-19 drive-thru testing is available 8 a.m. to noon, Monday thru Friday at Hilton Head Hospital, 25 Hospital Center Blvd. No appointment or doctor’s order is needed.
Where to find Other COVID-19 Information

Have A Safe Halloween Everyone!
Make it COVID-19 free by taking all the necessary precautions!

Stay informed:
Website – www.hiltonheadislandsc.gov
Twitter – https://twitter.com/TownofHHI
Facebook – www.facebook.com/TownofHiltonHeadIslandSC
Facebook Public Meetings – www.facebook.com/TownofHiltonHeadIslandMeetings
YouTube – www.youtube.com/c/TownofHiltonHeadIslandSC

For more information visit