In this report you will find information about KICA ’ s upcoming 2017 Annual Meeting . This year the association will elect two new directors to its board . The association ’ s board is comprised of six members of the community and one developer representative . Marilyn Olson and John Connolly are completing their terms and will leave the board after the annual meeting in March . They have been invaluable contributors to the community and the board , and will be missed . Marilyn is completing her second 3-year term , and John joined the board for a second time to fill the unexpired term of Art Jones in early 2015 . They both deserve our sincerest appreciation for their outstanding and selfless service .
Our Nominating Committee did some great work this year identifying two excellent candidates for the board ,
Cathy Pumphrey and Ben Cheatham . Cathy and Ben ’ s willingness to offer their time , energy and talents to the community is appreciated . Please review the enclosed report , which includes information about each candidate and submit your votes for director by either voting online or returning the enclosed ballot .
The past year was a busy one for Kiawah Island and the association , and included some challenges . Clearly , Hurricane Matthew tops that list . It was extremely disruptive , though we were fortunate that the damage was not more severe . We owe a debt of gratitude to both KICA and the Town of Kiawah Island , whose staffs worked so hard and collaboratively to keep the community up to date before , during and after the storm . The post-storm clean up was nothing short of amazing . Within a week , there was little evidence remaining of the storm on the main roads and after two weeks , nearly all of the fallen trees and debris had been cleared off the island . As you know , we implemented an assessment to recoup clean-up costs , which turned out to be lower than initially anticipated . The remaining restoration work focuses mostly on KICA ’ s beach boardwalks .
Also this year , KICA purchased the Municipal Center building from the Town of Kiawah Island . Once the town moves to its new facility on Betsy Kerrison Parkway , KICA will repurpose a portion of the space for community use . Our initial plans call for a majority of the additional space to be used as meeting rooms for clubs , groups and other community organizations that often cannot be accommodated at the Sandcastle due to space constraints . In addition , space is needed to relieve staff overcrowding and the eventual integration of the ARB into KICA ’ s operations . The ARB is scheduled to be transferred from developer control to community control over a period of years beginning in 2018 .
While high profile issues such as amenity debates , property purchases and hurricanes get much of the attention , the work of maintaining the community ’ s infrastructure and keeping the island safe and secure are the key objectives of what your community association does . In 2016 , we continued to invest in repairing and updating Kiawah ’ s 45-plus miles of underground drainage . In the 1970s , Kuwaiti developers used corrugated metal pipes for drainage as opposed to concrete and , not surprisingly , many of these pipes have not fared well after sitting in salt water for 40 years . About 25 % of the drainage system was constructed in this manner , and we ’ re about five years into a 10-year project to repair and modernize the system . 2016 was our most ambitious year to date , with well over $ 1 million invested into this critical function and another $ 1.6 million planned for 2017 . If you ever wonder where KICA spends its money , much of it is literally underground . This work rarely gets much attention until something goes wrong .
The board continues to evaluate the community ’ s long-term needs , including updates and improvements to the Sandcastle Community Center . Now that we own the Municipal Center facility , there ’ s some added flexibility to our planning options as smaller meetings and groups won ’ t need to occupy ballroom space at the Sandcastle . In my view , the existing Sandcastle facility is terribly dated and not reflective of a world-class community like Kiawah . Your board is looking at options to make meaningful enhancements while being prudent in use of community funds . As we make progress , we will keep you informed .
Being part of a neighborhood includes giving back to those less fortunate , finding common areas of concern , and working toward solutions . Our neighborhood does not start and stop at the Kiawah gate , but includes Johns Island , Wadmalaw Island and , to a certain extent , the Charleston region . As you may know from KICA communications , Kiawah Cares is becoming a force for good work , particularly on Johns Island , where the needs are so significant . So many of you have been so generous in giving your money and time to worthwhile causes . I am proud to be part of a community that has done so much to improve the lives of others . See more about Kiawah Cares following the Year In Review section in this report .
I am now wrapping up my second year on the board . It has been an interesting experience . Frankly , more than once , I have wondered why I got into this ! Then I think about what a unique place Kiawah is . Like most of you , my family and extended family have many special memories over the 25 years we have been coming to the island . I also am grateful that through my role on the board , I have come to know many wonderful property owners and visitors who I might not have otherwise met .
Equally impactful for me has been getting to know Jimmy Bailey , his leadership team and dozens of other members of the KICA staff . These folks are out there every day working hard to protect and enhance the Kiawah experience . We are fortunate to have them working on our behalf . I hope , when the opportunity arises , that you will extend your appreciation to them .
I invite you to attend the Annual Meeting on Friday , March 3 at 2 p . m . at the Sandcastle . I also encourage you to attend our outreach fundraiser , the Kiawah Cup , on March 25 at the Sandcastle ( kiawahcup . org ), and Celebrate Kiawah on April 29 , also at the Sandcastle . I hope to see many of you at these events .