Charleston in the News - May 2020
COVID-19 Pandemic - Update & Recovery Efforts
Although Governor McMaster further extended South Carolina's State of Emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic into the middle of May, we are beginning to see the relaxing of some restrictions on access, activity and operations in new orders and in the lifting of previous orders aimed at reducing the spread of the novel coronavirus (click here to access SC Executive Orders). Public boat ramps and launches, beaches (subject to local jurisdictions) and some types of retail establishments re-opened in April with limitations. Starting in early May, State Parks, Charleston County parks, most City of Charleston and Town of Mount Pleasant parks are reopening on a limited basis. On Friday, May 1st, with COVID-19 cases in South Carolina seeming to have plateaued, the Governor announced that the State's existing "Home or Work" Executive Order would become voluntary, that restaurants could start serving customers outdoors - both effective starting Monday, May 5th - and that previous orders relating to out-of-state visitors were now lifted. Other related State and local orders currently in place are likely under review but social distancing protocols and safety recommendations remain in place. Strategic planning for economic recovery is also underway at the national, state and local levels. President Trump has called upon 220 industry leaders and scholars to participate in various Great American Economic Revival Industry Groups - including Charleston's own Bob Faith, CEO of Greystar, for the 9-member real estate panel. Governor McMaster has created a 30-member task force called "accelerateSC", which includes Greater Charleston's Helen Turner Hill, CEO of Explore Charleston. Plans are also emerging for local area communities, such as the City of Charleston's COVID-19 Response and Recovery Plan. Things are looking up!
Flooding Protection Plan for Charleston Peninsula
The US Army Corps of Engineers has prepared a preliminary flooding protection plan for the Charleston peninsula that would cost an estimated $1.75 billion. Major elements of the project, if approved, would include a wall almost eight miles long, five new pump stations, gates, flood-proofing of several existing structures and a breakwater just off the southern shore. Together, they would serve to protect the city from major storms, heavy rainfalls and sea level rise. The public now has a 60-day period to comment on the draft plan. You can view the full report and provide comment through June 19th via this link. Read More Here...
Let's Take on the 2020 Census Response Rate Challenge!
April 1st was Census Day, meaning it is time for the constitutionally mandated count of the US population that takes place every 10 years. Census data impacts federal funding allocations for public infrastructure such as hospitals, fire departments, roads and schools. It also determines how many seats each state will have in the US House of Representatives and the delineation of state and congressional legislative districts. As of April 29th, the response rate has averaged almost 55% nationally but only 49% in South Carolina (ranked 40th). Locally, Dorchester County has demonstrated the highest response rate (57% and ranked 3rd in the state) so far, followed by Berkeley County (54%, ranked 8th) and Charleston County (49%, ranked 15th). You can complete the questionnaire by mail, by phone or online. Your response is required by law and if you do not respond, the US Census Bureau will follow up in person to collect your response. But wouldn't you prefer to be counted now and win the response rate challenge?!? If so, ... Read More Here...