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News from Billy K


Maximizing Economic and Recreational Assets in the Beaufort Bay



Harbor Amendment   

What are currently hypothetical questions are difficult, 

but I will give it my best shot!


I attend neighborhood association meetings and the monthly Neighborhood Improvement Committee meeting at City Hall when I am able. This provides an efficient way to get a sense of what's on people's minds and how well we are communicating with the citizens.


Last week I attended The Point Neighborhood Association's Annual Meeting where, after hearing a presentation by The City Redevelopment Commission about concepts for redevelopment of the Marina area of the Waterfront Park, some of the participants posed questions.


Since City Council will consider these concepts on first reading Tuesday evening, I want to take a few minutes to address the questions I am able to answer. But please remember we are only at the "concept stage" and questions will remain and new ones will arise until there are specific plans all of which will have to be vetted by City Council and the respective regulatory authorities.


Some of the questions are hypothetical and/or have not and will not be formally addressed until a concept is in place and a plan is under consideration. However, even though I do not like answering hypothetical's, and Council will not have policies until there is a need, I will take the risk of sharing personal opinions at this point in time with the understanding that these are my thoughts and not city policy.



What happens to the tour ships?


Based on what I know today, there is room for a day dock while leaving adequate space for the tour ships. That being said, based on what some merchants tell me about the ship tourists not spending much money in Beaufort, paying only a minimal fee to park while using city water to refill their water supply and the concern I hear about obstructing the view from the Park, I think we need to have an honest discussion about the value of the tour ships, whether they should be permitted to tie to the wall and/or they should moor out in the bay and pay for transport into shore as is the case in many places where tour ships visit cities and towns around the world.


Will the day dock be for one-sided mooring (as shown in the photo) or two sided mooring as with the existing day dock?


The proposed plan would have to be one sided because to make it two sided, it would have to be built out into the water making it like an extension of the Marina and would require a higher level of skilled boat handling than many boaters might have thereby causing a safety hazard.   This has been proposed and rejected by City Council on two occasions for the stated reasons.


If the dry-stack water sports/marina facility is built at its proposed location, will the existing day dock remain the primary location for access and egress for dinghies for the mooring field? If not, where do they go? What about for an extended mooring field?


The water sports center has not been planned with any specificity as it must be integrated into the already passed Civic Master Plan for the marina parking lot and it will also have to be a private sector initiative because it is not likely to quality for state and federal dollars as is the case for the mooring field which is currently being permitted and the day dock for which the funding process has been launched.


That being said, the existing day dock is necessary to accommodate dinghies for the mooring field and perhaps even a launch to facilitate access to moored boats should either the marina operator or a private business determine it is financially feasible to provide such a service as the mooring field grows.


How will issues of non-powered craft and boards intersect with the existing marina docks from a "safety perspective"?


Non powered craft are already launching from the boat landing and day dock. As these activities increase in a harbor, however, people need to respect and watch out for each other powered or not powered. Power boats must be aware of human powered craft whether there is a water sports center or not. This is common sense and something that the Marina operator, who serves as the City Harbor Master, must be mindful of and enforces the rules of the road which should be no different in Beaufort than any other place...


Will the carriage tours have their origination point relocated, and if so, where?


While there are no specifics in place, it one examines the already passed Sector One Civic Master Plan for the Marina area, it is very likely the carriages would be moved to another location as I am not sure if mixed used development comes one day, having people living adjacent to the horse trough and holding area would be acceptable.


That being said, the city has contractual arrangements and obligations with the carriage companies that must be honored so that any changes would have to be agreed upon by both parties. Given the redevelopment of the area however must be driven by private investment, however, I think there is plenty of time to work our mutually agreeable agreement.


Will the access to the dock be limited from the waterfront park side?


Primarily "after hours" when people are not coming and going from the day dock. I believe there should be a posting, however, that the day dock is only for those who are coming and going and not a place to put your feet in the water and relax, crab, fish or shrimp. It should be used exclusively for coming and going and boat "parking" for a limited time.


Will fishing be allowed of this dock?


In my view it would not make sense to permit fishing in a place where boaters have come and gone. Fishing is currently allowed from the park and I see no reason to permit it at a day dock.


Who controls it when the parking guys are off duty?


The police department currently patrols the day dock after hours after the marina operator closes for the evening. While Council has not yet discussed this with the city manager, I would think and support the same case for a new day dock. Overnight stays will not be permitted and I would think that access to and from the park from the day dock would be restricted "after hours."


How many parking spots will be lost if you build the 3,000 - 7,000 square feet water sports center?


First, it will not be the city building such as it will have to be done in partnership with the private sector. Second it will of course depend on whether it is a 3,000 or 5,000 or 7,000 square foot building. And finally, if one assumes it to be the larger to include the marina office and store, laundry room, marina showers and bathrooms as well as public restrooms, and perhaps retail around water sports, it would be a larger building. But that building would replace the existing two buildings from which these services are currently providing with a net increase of parking rather than a decrease in the number of spaces.


I may have missed some of the questions, but these are the ones I remember and I anticipate and encourage those with questions to attend the Council meeting at 7pm on Tuesday to ask your own questions.


First and second readings, Tuesday night and then two weeks later, will provide plenty of time to answer questions.


But please remember we are still at the concept stage and specific plans will have to be vetted in the future.




Redevelopment Commission Backgrounder

from which the plan began . . . . though much of what we are talking about comes from our Comprehensive Plan and requests from Mainstreet, Beaufort, USA, the Yacht and Sailing Squadran, Citizens from the area seeking a safer more reliable access.  And the plan has achived endosrsements from the Greater Beaufort Chamber of Commerce and a multitude of individuals and organizations.


 Non Binding. All Council will be considering is the languare shared above in the text of the amendment. 


Addendum to Sector 1 Master Plan

Beaufort Marina Recreational Day Dock and Water Sports Center


This Addendum to the Sector 1 Master Plan provides design and policy guidance for a subcomponent of the Marina Area Master Plan, detailed elsewhere. Council has expressed its interest in proceeding with the planning and installation of a Recreational Day Dock and Water Sports Center (RDD).   The RDD will expand and diversify the use of Beaufort's Downtown waterfront, ultimately making investments in the City's Marina Redevelopment more attractive.


Background Beaufort's redevelopment initiatives will expand the size and dollar value of the Downtown retail and food services market by creating lifestyle benefits that provide regional consumers reasons to visit and purchase Downtown more frequently. The same assets will prove attractive to an expanded tourist demographic who will be encouraged to visit more frequently and stay longer. Local, visitor and waterborne transient boaters are key to achieving these financial aims, as recreational boat ownership is generally representative of above average disposable income.


Main Street Beaufort businesses support this project and state that the installation of a high quality RDD facility, proximate to the City's marina, is critical to sustaining a healthy business climate and creating revenue that enables the maintenance of Downtown's historic character. A recent consulting study and the merchants' own analyses indicate that the current emphasis on value-oriented tourists is not sufficient to achieve these goals. Additional support for the project has been expressed by local water sports businesses, water sports clubs, the Power and Sail squadron, and participants in numerous charettes conducted by the Redevelopment Commission.


  • The RDD consists of three elements - a Day Dock, a Water Sports Center, an active marketing campaign to introduce the RDD as a destination venue.
  • A new Day Dock, located at the West End of Chambers Park provides a high quality, low maintenance dock. Boats to 26 feet are granted free dockage for up to 3 hours during daylight hours. Larger boats and longer stays are handled by the City Marina. (see Exhibit 1)
  • Control of Day Dock usage is managed using procedures common elsewhere. A cell phone or marine VHF call is required to secure dock space. This activity is managed by the Water Sports Center operator or the City's parking management company (presently Lanier).
  • The existing casual use dock, West of the Marina, is converted to a rowing sports and mooring field dinghy dock. Depending on demand and design considerations, 40-80 feet of low float is attached to the dock to accommodate safe entry and exit from kayaks, rowing shells, dragon boats and similar craft.
  • A Water Sports Center which may be 3000 +/- square feet provides dry stack (racked) storage, launch and retrieval services for privately owned and rental rowing craft. Storage revenues substantially offset the lease costs of the facility. The Center also incorporates retail sales of items relevant to its primary customers and a piazza or patio area for patrons to gather. Bathroom and changing facilities may be part of this building or available via agreement with the City Marina operator.
    Alternatively, the existing Marina convenience store, offices, public and private restrooms and laundry may be combined with the Water Sports Center by a future land side developer at the Marina site resulting in a combined facility of approximately 7000 +/- sq ft and substantial new open space on the waterfront. Exhibits 2& 3 provide various architectural concepts for the site. Any building on the site will ultimately conform to the Beaufort style in appearance as defined by the Historic District Review Board and codified in the City's Form Based Code.
  • Active marketing and a lively program schedule makes the RDD complex a gathering place for water sports enthusiasts. Local boaters, who might have by- passed Beaufort on trips to Savannah, Hilton Head, Edisto, or Dataw come to see the RDD as an attractive day-trip destination.   Transient boaters and tourists extend their stays to participate in RDD events.   The RDD operator publishes a Beaufort Rowing Sports website in partnership with local clubs and sponsors periodic events marketed regionally,



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Symphony Flyer  
Billy Button  

Tis the Campaign Season. Though I have no formal opposition, I plan to run hard against myself using the opportunity of talking with people to get a better read on the kind of job I am doing and how I can improve.


Unfortunately, even this kind of campaign, with continued news letters and my television show, takes money . . . . so any little bit you are able to contribute would be gratefully appreciated.

If you are able, please send a modest contribution to Billy Keyserling for Mayor, Post Office Box 2145, Beaufort, S.C. 29901-2145



A Positive Opportunity Young People to Consider

US Naval Sea Cadets


My name is ENS Eric Estrada, and I am the Prospective Commanding Officer for the soon to be formed Port Royal Sound Battalion, US Naval Sea Cadet Corps. I recently retired from the United States Army after over 26 years of total service, and have re-settled into the community with my wife Carol and children. An article in The Packet and Gazette would significantly help us get the word out to the community about the program, so we can start receiving youth enrollments and adult volunteers for our program. The Sea Cadets is a program sponsored by the Department of The Navy and the Navy League and is a Navy JROTC-type program that is non-affiliated with any school but is for youth ages 10-17 years of age. We are sponsored primarily by the Charleston Chapter, Navy League; but are also sponsored by the VFW Post 8760 in Beaufort, SC. We invite any group or interested parties sponsorship as well.


What is Sea Cadets

The Naval Sea Cadet Corps (NSCC) is for American youth ages 13-17 who have a desire to learn about the Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard and Merchant Marine. Sea Cadets are authorized by the Secretary of the Navy to wear Navy uniforms appropriately marked with the Sea Cadet Corps insignia. The objectives of the Sea Cadet program are to introduce youth to naval life, to develop in them a sense of pride, patriotism, courage, and self-reliance, and to maintain an environment free of drugs and gangs.


Sea Cadet Units

Cadets meet or "drill" at their local unit weekly or monthly through out the year. A unit is structured along military lines and is headed by a Commanding Officer. Units may drill on military bases, at reserve centers, local schools, or community centers.

Sea Cadet units are organized as either divisions, squadrons, or battalions. Divisions closely reflect the surface Navy, while squadrons are geared toward the field of naval aviation, and battalions meanwhile reflect Navy construction battalions (SeaBees).


Whether a division, squadron, or battalion, the local unit has one main purpose, and that is to foster team work, camaraderie and an understanding of the military command structure.


Cadets are instructed by both Sea Cadet Officers and senior cadets through classroom and applied instruction in subjects such as basic seamanship, military drill, and leadership. And most Sea Cadet regions throughout the country hold weekend competitions where units compete with each other to test their seamanship and military skills.

Local units will often participate in community events such as parades and fairs. They may also tour Navy and Coast Guard ships and shore stations. And participate in community service such as working in Veterans' Hospitals and organizing clothing and food drives.


Training & Advancement

Sea Cadet training consists of Navy Non-Resident Training Courses (NRTC), training evolutions (away from local units), shipboard training, and training arranged locally by units.

All new cadets enter the program at the rate of Seaman Recruit. In order for cadets to move up through the ranks they must complete the following: the NRTC Correspondence Course for that rate, one training evolution, and depending on the rate, the Navy's Military Leadership exam for that rate. NRTC's cover basic military and naval subjects such as naval history, seamanship, leadership, and ship/aircraft familiarization. The cadet rate structure parallels that of the Navy and Coast Guard's enlisted rate structure, with Chief Petty Officer being the highest rate a cadet can achieve.

Training takes place mostly during summer months and occasionally during winter and spring break periods and are generally one to two week evolutions. The first training evolution for all cadets is NSCC Recruit Training, better known as boot camp. It is a scaled down version of the Navy's boot camp. For approximately two-weeks cadets are instructed by active and reserve military personnel and Sea Cadet officers in military drill and discipline, physical fitness, seamanship, shipboard safety, first aid, naval history, and leadership.

After cadets have successfully completed boot camp, they can then participate in advanced training. Sea Cadet advanced training currently consists of the following:















o          MUSIC SCHOOL








o          SCUBA SCHOOL





What is the NSCC Officer Corps

The Naval Sea Cadet Corps Officer Corps provides adult leadership for cadets of the Naval Sea Cadet Corps (NSCC) and the Navy League Cadet Corps (NLCC). NSCC officers are dedicated volunteers who instruct cadets, operate units and escort cadets when participating in events away from their home unit. Officers may either be civilians or military (active, reserve or retired) who are knowledgeable of youth and interested in their training. Instructors are also recruited from active Reserve military commands and leaders within the community. Members of the Naval Reserve may qualify for drill credit and active duty for training orders (ADT) for participating in NSCC/NLCC activities. The NSCC does not require specific education or professional qualifications, but applicants with nautical/military experience are desired. NSCC officers are authorized to wear Navy officer uniforms (modified by the NSCC insignia). All NSCC officers are appointed by NSCC National Headquarters.


If you have any questions concerning the Sea Cadets, please feel free to call me during the day at work; my number is (843) 842-5200 at Jos A. Bank. Visit our Facebook page or the Sea Cadets website at if you have any further questions. Thank you for your time and assistance.


ENS Eric Estrada

Prospective Commanding Officer

Port Royal Sound Battalion

United States Naval Sea Cadet Corps

(843) 379-2015 home

(843) 842-5200 work