Estate Planning Attorney inJohns Island, SC

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Securing Your Legacy in South
Carolina

Did you know that one in two U.S. citizens have yet to create a plan for their estate? Just about everyone knows they need to get their affairs in order, but most people procrastinate when it comes to estate planning. It's an uncomfortable subject to think about. After all, nobody wants to ponder their death and what happens to their assets when they pass. However, working with an estate planning lawyer in Johns Island, SC, protects you, your loved ones, and your assets, both while you're alive and after you have died. There isn't a perfect time to plan your estate, but there is a right time – and that time is now.

We understand that there is no "one-size-fits-all" solution to your estate planning needs. That's why, at CDH Law Firm, we make a concerted effort to speak with our clients personally so that we can create an estate plan that is as unique as they are. Our estate plans are comprehensive, cost-effective, and catered to you. That way, your family is provided if you are incapacitated or pass away.

At the end of the day, our goal is to make sure that every one of our clients leaves our office feeling less stressed and more informed. Peace of mind is valuable currency these days. Why worry about the future of your loved ones when you can use South Carolina law to ensure their stability?

Many of the clients in Johns Island that walk through our doors have significant questions that require serious answers. They're filled with doubt, stress, and worry. They're worried about their children, their spouse, their relatives, or all the above. They ask questions like:

  • How much does estate planning cost?
  • What kind of results can I expect?
  • How long will this process take?

If these questions sound familiar, know that you are not alone. At CDH Law Firm, we have worked with hundreds of clients just like you. Sometimes, these clients are unsatisfied with their current estate planning attorney in Johns Island. Other times, they have been served with confusing papers or documents that leave them feeling overwhelmed. In either case, clients come to our office knowing they need to manage what is often a sudden, foreign situation.

The good news? We sit down with all new clients for an hour at no extra cost. We do so to get a basic sense of their situation and help steer them in the right direction. That way, they can leave our office feeling a little wiser and a lot better about the future.

Estate Planning Law Johns Island, SC
Service Areas

Our firm specializes in several areas of estate planning and family law, including:

  • Estate Planning
  • Last Will and Testament
  • Living Wills
  • Heath Care Power of Attorney
  • Living Wills
  • Irrevocable Trusts
  • Revocable Trusts
  • Retirement Trusts
  • Special Needs Trusts

The Cobb Dill & Hammett
Difference

At Cobb Dill & Hammett, LLC, estate planning is like second nature to us. Having worked hundreds upon hundreds of cases, we have the knowledge and experience to assist with all the estate planning needs that you or your family have.

As our client, you will always work directly with your attorney. We do not pass cases off to paralegals or junior associates. Because your concerns and questions don't end when our office closes, we encourage our clients to contact us at any time.

Because we limit the number of cases we accept, we have the time and resources to truly dedicate ourselves to each of our clients. Unlike some competitors, we care about the outcome of every case because we know that our clients' future depends on it.

 Estate Planning Attorney Johns Island, SC The-Cobb-Dill-Hammett-Difference
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What Our Clients Say

What is Estate Planning in
Johns Island, SC?

The word "estate" might make you think of a sprawling mansion in the French countryside. The truth is, you don't have to be rich to have an estate. In fact, most people already have an estate. An estate comprises the assets that a person owns like cars, bank accounts, real estate, businesses, and other possessions. Everyone's estate is different, but we all have one thing in common: none of us can take our estates with us when we die. When that does eventually happen, you will need legal instructions that state who gets what from your estate in plain terms.That, in a nutshell, is estate planning – building a framework in advance that names the organizations or people that should receive your assets after you die. Planning your estate now helps make life much easier for your family down the line.

 Estate Planning Lawyer Johns Island, SC
A good estate plan covers more than fiscal assets, however. A comprehensive
estate plan should include the following:
  • If you have children who are minors, instructions as to who will be their guardian when you die.
  • Long-term care insurance if you suffer from an extended injury or illness.
  • Instructions that dictate what happens to you and your financial affairs if you become incapacitated before death.
  • Instructions on the transfer of your business after retirement, incapacity, disability, or death.
  • Instructions on how to provide for loved ones who might need help managing money or who need protection from creditors.
  • Probate and tax avoidance that help minimize court fees, taxes, and legal fees.
  • Planning Medicaid payments.
  • Instructions that help complete or update beneficiary designations.
  • Assist family members who have special needs without disqualifying them from government benefits.

Contrary to popular belief, estate planning isn't just for adults who are approaching retirement age. Estate planning is for everyone. After all, we're all getting older, and none of us know exactly when it will be our time to go.

The Basics of Estate Planning
in Johns Island, SC

Although estate planning can be complicated, a well-rounded plan makes a huge difference in what is left to your beneficiaries. Before you start planning your estate, it's important to know a few common topics that may arise as you detail your needs.

1.

Working with a Tax Advisor and Estate Planning
Attorney in Johns Island, SC

Working with a veteran estate planning lawyer is a no-brainer, but you should consider working with a tax advisor too. Your attorney's role is to help guide you through the creation of your estate planning documents. Common documents include your will, health care directives, and power of attorney. Your tax advisor will help guide you through tax issues associated with your estate planning needs.

In this relationship, you make the decisions while your attorney and tax advisor help you understand and think through the options you're considering. As a team, they will help you state your wishes clearly while minimizing mistakes and adjusting your plans as they change. Because significant savings can result from thorough, informed planning, you should seriously consider working with a tax advisor in addition to your estate planning attorney.

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2.

Maximizing
Your Estate

If there were one overriding theme of estate planning, it would be maximizing what you plan to leave behind. Thinking through how each of your assets will be distributed is crucial to your estate. Your decisions may change depending on the type of asset, its size, how old you are, and several other factors. With an attorney on your side, you will gain a thorough understanding of what actions you should take to care for your family while minimizing expenses like taxes and court fees.

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3.

Inheritance, Estate,
and Gift Taxes

One of the biggest parts of maximizing what you're leaving behind is to minimize taxes. Federal taxes on estates and gifts are incredibly high. Both forms of taxes usually have exemption limits, which means you can give up to a specific amount without being taxed. Your lawyer can achieve that by using the gift tax exemption to move assets while you are still alive. This strategy maximizes how much your beneficiaries will receive.

Inheritance taxes are often based on the value of your estate and paid prior to asset distribution to your beneficiaries.

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Choosing the
Executor of Your Will

The executor of your estate plays a key role in your affairs. Their responsibilities include carrying out the terms of your will and seeing the estate settlement process through until the end. Obviously, such a role demands a qualified person. Choosing your executor isn't an easy decision. The person you select should be great at managing money, be savvy financially, and show an ability to be patient. That's because the executor is tasked with:

  • Collecting Your Assets
  • Paying Outstanding Bills
  • Submitting Tax Returns
  • Petitioning the Court for Documents
  • Distributing Assets to Your Beneficiaries
 Law Firm Johns Island, SC

If the person that you choose as executor is inexperienced with the estate settlement process, it is recommended that they lean on an estate planning attorney in Johns Island, SC for guidance. It should be noted that you may appoint more than a single executor to your estate. This is common when two individuals have complementary personalities or skill sets.

The Benefits of Estate Planning
in Johns Island, SC

One of the biggest benefits of planning your estate is the peace of mind it brings to you and your family. With the help of our expert estate planning attorneys, you have the power to protect your assets, privacy, and children's welfare. You can also potentially save money on taxes or even avoid probate. By having your wishes legally documented before death or incapacity, you can minimize any impact on your beneficiaries and take control of your legacy. Without a comprehensive estate plan, you're leaving the future of your loved ones in the hands of the South Carolina court system.

With an estate plan in place, you can plan for incapacity by using a power of attorney or advanced medical directives. Doing so relieves your loved ones of the burden of asking the court for the authority to fulfill your wishes.

At CDH Law Firm, we are committed to helping you prepare for both the expected and unexpected through years of experience and a fierce dedication to our clients. From establishing trusts to designing business succession plans, we are here to fight for you.

At CDH we offer a "Will Package" that includes 4 necessary documents.

If a husband and wife each purchase reciprocating will packages we give a discount. Reciprocating just means the husband names the wife and the wife names the husband. Those four documents are:

  • Last will and testament
  • Healthcare power of attorney
  • Durable power of attorney
  • living will
Free Consultation

Common Documents Included
in Your Estate Plan

As mentioned above, everyone's estate planning needs will be different. However, most plans include one or more of the following documents:

1.

Will

Your will is an essential piece of documentation and is often considered the cornerstone of a proper estate plan. Generally speaking, your will is a document that dictates the distribution of your assets after your death. Having an iron-clad will is one of the best ways to make sure that your wishes are communicated clearly. As is the case with most estate planning, it is highly recommended that you work with an estate planning attorney in Johns Island, SC, to create and update your will.

The contents of a will typically include:

  • Designation of the executor, who is responsible for adhering to the provisions of your will.
  • Designation of beneficiaries – the people who will be inheriting your assets
  • Instructions that dictate how and when your beneficiaries will receive assets.
  • Instructions that assign guardianship for any minor children.

Without a will in place, the State of South Carolina will decide how to distribute assets to your beneficiaries. Allowing the state to distribute your assets is often an unfavorable route to take, since the settlement process may not include what you had in mind for your survivors. Having a will drafted that reflects your wishes will prevent such a situation from happening.

 Attorney Johns Island, SC
2.

Living Will

Despite its name, a living will does not instruct your survivors on what assets go where. Also called an advanced directive, your living will allows you to state your end-of-life medical wishes if you have become unable to communicate. This important document provides guidance to family members and doctors and solidifies certain issues like whether you should be resuscitated after an accident.

For example, it's common to direct that palliative care (care to decrease pain and suffering) always be administered if needed. Conversely, you may state that certain measures are not allowed, like CPR.

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3.

Trusts

Traditionally, a trust is used to minimize estate taxes and maximize other benefits as part of a well-rounded estate plan. This fiduciary agreement lets a trustee hold your assets on behalf of your beneficiaries. There are many ways to arrange a trust to specify when and how your assets are distributed.

With a trust in place, your beneficiaries can avoid going to probate. That means they may be able to gain access to your assets quicker than when they are transferred with a standard will. Assets placed in a trust can pass outside of probate, which will save you and your family time, money, and stress.

There are two distinct trust categories that you should be aware of: revocable and irrevocable.

Estate Planning Law Johns Island, SC

Revocable Trust:

Also called a living trust, a revocable trust helps assets circumvent probate. With this trust, you can control your assets while you are still alive. These trusts are flexible and may be dissolved at any point in time. This type of trust becomes irrevocable upon your death. Revocable trusts can help you avoid the pitfalls of probate but be aware that they are usually still taxable.

Irrevocable Trust:

This kind of trust transfers assets out of your estate so that they are not taxed and do not have to go through probate. However, once an irrevocable trust has been executed, it may not be altered. That means that once you establish this kind of trust, you lose control of its assets and cannot dissolve the trust. If your primary goal is to avoid taxes on your estate, setting up an irrevocable could be a wise choice.

When drafted with the help of an estate planning lawyer in Johns Island, SC, your trust can also:

Protect Your Legacy:

When constructed properly, a trust can protect your estate from your heirs' creditors. This can be a huge relief for beneficiaries who might need to brush up on money management skills.

Privacy and Probate:

Probate records are made available for public consumption. With a trust, you may have the choice of having your assets pass outside of probate court so that they remain private. In the process, you may also save money that you would lose to taxes and court fees.

Control Wealth:

Because you can specify the exact terms of a trust, you have more control over who receives your assets and when they receive them. As an example, you can set up a revocable trust so that your assets are attainable while you're alive. When you pass, remaining assets are distributed, even in complex situations involving children from multiple marriages.

The Top Estate Planning Law Firm in the Lowcountry

If you know that you need to provide for your family and loved ones after your death, it's time to develop your estate plan. With CDH Law Firm by your side, planning your estate doesn't have to be difficult. However, it does need to be accurate and executed exactly to your wishes – something that we have been helping clients achieve for years. Don't leave your legacy up to chance – contact our office today and secure your future generations.

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Latest News in Johns Island, SC

News Briefs - April 28, 2022

City councilman Peter Shahid makes a run for mayor Charleston City Councilmember Peter Shahid has announced he’s running for mayor of Charleston.“When my grandfather arrived here in 1899, Charleston was a different place: a city with many struggles and challenges,” Shahid said. “Today, we are a city whose possibilities are only limited by the minds of those tasked with orchestrating and implementing our next phase of growth and prosperity. We need competent, decisive leaders to lead us t...

City councilman Peter Shahid makes a run for mayor

Charleston City Councilmember Peter Shahid has announced he’s running for mayor of Charleston.

“When my grandfather arrived here in 1899, Charleston was a different place: a city with many struggles and challenges,” Shahid said. “Today, we are a city whose possibilities are only limited by the minds of those tasked with orchestrating and implementing our next phase of growth and prosperity. We need competent, decisive leaders to lead us to the future.”

Shahid continued, “Over the last year, I have had countless Charlestonians urging me to consider running for mayor. I have been humbled by their encouragement and faith in my ability to lead our wonderful city. After two terms on City Council, I have grown frustrated with the direction of our beloved city under the current administration. Now more than ever our city needs a mayor who possesses strong leadership and has a vision for the future.”

He added, “After consulting with my family, friends, and constituents in West Ashley, I have decided the best place for me to continue serving our city is as your next mayor… We filed the initial paperwork to launch our campaign.”

Shahid said “Over the next few months, I will begin to build a campaign that truly represents every resident and reflects every corner of this city – the Peninsula, West Ashley, James Island, Johns Island, and Daniel Island.”

He continued, “I have spent my entire life in Charleston. I love this city and I am committed to making sure we tackle those critical issues that impact our daily lives and restore Charleston to the jewel it is and should be.”

“I’ll see you on the campaign trail,” Shahid added.

Island House Real Estate adds two Realtors

Island House Real Estate has added Realtors Jill Hamilton and Morgan Gaccione to the team.

As the newest member of the Island House team, Hamilton learned that sometimes life makes it abundantly clear to us where we need to be and when. All the best decisions Hamilton has made resulted from recognizing and acting on those basic instincts. Hamilton felt this way when she and her husband made the decision to establish roots and relocate to Mount Pleasant in 2019.

Originally from the West Coast, Hamilton made her way to Augusta, Georgia, in 2015, where she owned and operated a boutique fitness studio with her husband. Spending most of her career working as a hospitality consultant for high-end golf and country clubs and working in the boutique fitness space has equipped Hamilton with the valuable skills to provide excellent service before, during and after the transaction. Hamilton easily relates to the clientele that is drawn to this desirable market and the lifestyle it represents.

Hamilton’s passion for health and wellness has led her to complete 15 half-marathons and the Chicago marathon. When she is not searching the Lowcountry for homes you can find her teaching a Pure Barre class, taking hot yoga or hanging out with her husband David and their morkie, Daisy.

In just over two years in real estate, Gaccione’s genuine motivation and determination to help her clients has propelled her into success. Gaccione is a team player and always willing to lend a helping hand. Gaccione’s decision to pursue a career in real estate was driven by her passion to help people achieve their homeownership goals.

Growing up in the harbor town of Cold Spring Harbor, New York, and moving to Charleston seven years ago has given her the unique perspective and appreciation of living in a coastal community and all that it has to offer. Gaccione earned her Urban Studies degree at the College of Charleston and has been living in downtown Charleston ever since.

Gaccione’s experience in marketing and sales has allowed her to hone in on the needs of her clients. Gaccione is passionate about making the home buying process seamless and exciting for first-time home buyers as they navigate this major milestone.

When Gaccione’s not working she enjoys exploring new places in the city, walking the Ravenel Bridge, or heading to the beach.

Johns Island craft brewery among best in SC, according to Yelp

(NEXSTAR) – Who’s in the mood for an expensive beer?These days, it feels like you can’t throw a rock without hitting a craft brewery, or at least hitting someone who has a very strong opinion on craft beer. The number of U.S. microbreweries, taprooms and brewpubs has exploded over the last decade, from roughly 2,000 in 2010 to more than 9,000 in 2021, according to the Brewers Association.De...

(NEXSTAR) – Who’s in the mood for an expensive beer?

These days, it feels like you can’t throw a rock without hitting a craft brewery, or at least hitting someone who has a very strong opinion on craft beer. The number of U.S. microbreweries, taprooms and brewpubs has exploded over the last decade, from roughly 2,000 in 2010 to more than 9,000 in 2021, according to the Brewers Association.

Despite a slight dip in production during the pandemic (and current supply-chain snags), most of these breweries on track to keep pre-pandemic levels of beer flowing, too.

“While the boom in breweries of a few years before has certainly slowed, the continued growth in small breweries shows the solid foundation of demand for their businesses and beers,” Bart Watson, the chief economist of the Brewers Association, said in an April press release.

With so much craft beer to consider, and so many brewpubs to choose from, it’s undoubtedly daunting to settle on a destination for a draft or two. But luckily, the analysts at Yelp have sorted through thousands of user-generated reviews to determine which breweries are best-rated in your neck of the woods.

One quick note: The following list is based on reviews that not only considered the taste of each brewery’s beer, but also the ambiance or service at each establishment’s taproom, if they indeed serve beer on the premises.

Good? Alright, let’s hop to it, then: The top craft brewery* in each state, based on Yelp reviews, can be found below:

More information, and links to each brewery’s Yelp page, can be found at Yelp.com.

While the above breweries are certainly most popular with Yelp users, the sales figures of America’s top-producing craft breweries tell a different story. The most popular craft brewery in the U.S., in terms of sales volume, is Pennsylvania-based D. G. Yuengling & Son, followed by the Boston Beer Company of Massachusetts and the Sierra Nevada Brewing Company, according to the Brewers Association.

*Craft breweries, as defined by the Brewers Association, must produce less than 6 million barrels per year. To qualify for the category, no more than 25% of the company can be owned or controlled by a larger, non-craft brewer. The brewery itself must also hold a TBB Brewer’s Notice and be actively producing beer.

Johns Island conservation easement would protect flood-prone area from development

A 94-acre property on Johns Island that was once the site of a proposed 240-home community may be protected from all future development.Charleston City Council on April 12 approved allocating about $515,000 of its greenbelt funding toward a conservation easement for the property, known as the Oakville Tract.Greenbelt funding is set aside by Charleston County to various municipalities in the county for conservation projects. The Lowcountry Land Trust is drafting the agreement to protect the property and matching the city’s...

A 94-acre property on Johns Island that was once the site of a proposed 240-home community may be protected from all future development.

Charleston City Council on April 12 approved allocating about $515,000 of its greenbelt funding toward a conservation easement for the property, known as the Oakville Tract.

Greenbelt funding is set aside by Charleston County to various municipalities in the county for conservation projects. The Lowcountry Land Trust is drafting the agreement to protect the property and matching the city’s allocation using funds from a grant awarded through the state of South Carolina.

“You wouldn’t want to be developing this site, it’s very low, it’s subject to flooding and it can have an impact on the overall drainage basin,” Mayor John Tecklenburg said during a Charleston City Council Real Estate Committee meeting April 11.

The Charleston Aviation Authority bought two parcels of land in August, including the Oakville tract, to prevent homes from sprouting on the edge of the 1,333-acre Charleston Executive Airport next to the Stono River.

The purchases will allow the airport to widen and extend one of its runways and use the Oakville tract as an undeveloped “clear zone” or safety buffer for the runway. The most that the Aviation Authority could build on the Oakville tract under the proposed conservation easement would be a road connecting different areas of the airport to each other, said City Councilman Karl Brady who represents the area.

“I think its a huge win because the airport gets a buffer zone and we’re able to save that low-lying land,” Brady said.

The 94-acre Oakville tract is mostly located in the city of Charleston but is partially within the county. It is also located entirely within the urban growth boundary, an area where higher density of development is allowed on Johns Island. The low-lying piece of land is also on Burden Creek. Preserving it from development will allow runoff to continue downstream rather than be blocked by homes, roads and businesses.

“There would have been a lot of repercussion upstream,” said Johns Island Taskforce Chairman John Zlogar of the previous proposal to build homes on the property. The task force was established in 2013 to bring together residents and local officials to address Johns Island-specific issues.

The Charleston Aviation Authority bought the Oakville tract and another 43-acre tract for $7.7 million. Out of that, $4.9 million went to the developers of the proposed community on the Oakville tract for the estimated development rights of the land. If the use of the city of Charleston’s allocation of greenbelt funds is given final approval by Charleston County, the Aviation Authority has agreed to donate $3.9 million worth of those development rights, said Natalie Olson, Sea Islands Program Director for the Lowcountry Land Trust.

The grant funds would reimburse the Aviation Authority for about $1 million worth of those land rights. The agency will retain ownership of the property, but the conservation easement will limit all development on it in perpetuity.

City Councilman Ross Appel told members of the Real Estate Committee that it is common for airports to create “buffer zones” along the edges of their properties.

“These airports are economic engines and there is going to be a lot of desire to develop in and around this area,” Appel said.

Charleston County Council’s Finance Committee will vote April 21 whether to approve the city’s allocation of its share of greenbelt funds to the conservation easement. The proposal will then need a final vote from County Council.

The Oakville property is one of several tracts of land on Johns Island that are being considered for greenbelt funds. County Council’s Finance Committee will also consider approving greenbelt funds to place conservation easements on two large properties, a 700-acre tract along the Stono River known as Ravenswood and a 35-acre tract that once included the Sea Islands Farmers Cooperative. The co-op was founded by Black farmers in the 1970s.

SCDOT backs new $2.3B Mark Clark extension; community not so sure

A recent update of the long-awaited Mark Clark Expressway extension sets the new cost estimate at a whopping $2.35 billion, giving opponents another reason to oppose it and prompting several members of Charleston County Council to suggest a pause.The proposed extension would transform I-526 from its end at Savannah Highway in West Ashley to a parkway across Johns Island to the James Island Connector. The highway currently connects Mount Pleasant, Daniel Island and North Charleston.Construction is planned to begin in 2028, accor...

A recent update of the long-awaited Mark Clark Expressway extension sets the new cost estimate at a whopping $2.35 billion, giving opponents another reason to oppose it and prompting several members of Charleston County Council to suggest a pause.

The proposed extension would transform I-526 from its end at Savannah Highway in West Ashley to a parkway across Johns Island to the James Island Connector. The highway currently connects Mount Pleasant, Daniel Island and North Charleston.

Construction is planned to begin in 2028, according to the state Department of Transportation (DOT), with an estimated two or three years of litigation beforehand. The extension has been contentious since the State Infrastructure Bank voted to fund it in 2007. Opponents from Johns and James islands to downtown have argued that the road does little to address the traffic issues plaguing Johns and James islands and will lead to the sort of explosive development that followed the completion of 526 to Mount Pleasant in the late 1990s. Proponents have long argued that it’s a critical component of Lowcountry transportation infrastructure.

“I think it has just become a worse and worse idea as time wore on, and that’s unfortunately a common theme,” Johns Island resident John Zlogar said. “Engaging the people before you come up with solutions is a great idea — they had a big shindig showing off a lot of information for a preferred alternative.”

Zlogar said he has been following the project on Johns Island since 2016. But project leaders at the state level think it’s important to see the bigger picture. At a Charleston County Finance Committee meeting May 5, DOT representatives gave a presentation to discuss the price increase, as well as the project’s significance and impact.

“It’s very important we remember why this project came to be in the first place … to increase the capacity of the regional transportation system and improve safety and enhance mobility,” project director Jay Mattox told members. “This is not a project for James Island or Johns Island or West Ashley — it’s for the region as a whole.”

Some county officials, however, weren’t convinced.

“In a way, we’ve dodged a bullet here,” County Councilman Dickie Schweers said. “What if we were two or three years into this project right now, and these costs surfaced? For them to increase that much in that short of a time — if we were in the middle of the project … they’d either get us to pay more money or they’d go bankrupt with a project of this size.”

Despite the rising cost, the state’s share is still capped at $420 million. Before, Charleston County would have been on the hook for about $305 million of the project’s previous estimate of $725 million. Now, the county would be expected to pay more than $1.9 billion.

“We, the county, were going to take the bull by the horns on this, and we were going to handle it instead of the DOT. I think that was a tragic mistake by us,” Schweers said. “Now, at $2.3 billion, I question whether it’s too big for this state. This is almost more in the federal scope when you’re talking numbers this big.”

State DOT representatives said the new estimate is high-balled and the actual cost is likely to be lower. But retired Coastal Conservation League founder Dana Beach said the original number is what he’s more interested in.

“It is completely indisputable that the DOT consistently misrepresented the early cost of the project,” Zlogar said. “It never could have been as low as the DOT alleged it was, and we knew that. It was a politically motivated estimate at initially about $420 million. Then that $725-million lowball was just as ridiculous an estimate.”

Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg doubled down on his support for the project after the new estimate was unveiled.

“No question, the cost estimates for major infrastructure projects in South Carolina are exploding, and 526 is no exception,” Tecklenburg said in a statement. “But that doesn’t change the fact that our West Ashley and island residents need and deserve the traffic relief and public safety improvements this project will bring.”

But Zlogar said it would be cheaper and more impactful to tackle the traffic woes facing the county with several smaller, more focused projects rather than one big one. One example is the ongoing Main Road Corridor Project, which is broken up into three sections and has been in the works since 2018. The first phase of the project would widen the existing Main Road flyover between River Road and Savannah Highway.

“There’s other things on Johns Island that can be done to alleviate congestion, like the flyover — it’s going to be great to get that done,” he said. “But the traffic is bad at every intersection, and one thing the county has been talking about doing is five-laning the roads at the lights. If we solve the problems at the intersections, the traffic goes away.

“On Main Road, the traffic is backed up all the way past Mary Ann Point Road, but it’s not because the road isn’t five lanes wide,” Zlogar added. “The same thing for Maybank and River Road. Some improvements have been made, but so many more could help so much more. It really feels like we’re being held hostage by I-526.”

Beach agreed, saying while the project would offer minimal respite for commuters, it’s far too expensive for how little it actually addresses.

“We have gotten plenty of engineering that illustrates there are vastly less expensive and more effective alternatives to deal with the congestion of West Ashley and Johns Island with none of the negative repercussions and secondary impacts this project would have created,” he said.

What happens next?

It’s not yet clear where individual County Council members stand on the Mark Clark Expressway project, but several have expressed concern about the skyrocketing price and environmental impacts. Council Chairman Teddie Pryor said a vote would be taken on the measure at a future council meeting, after the state Department of Transportation refines the cost estimates — an undertaking that could take several months.

Councilman Kylon Middleton said he would like to familiarize himself more with the project specifics and changes before sharing his opinion publicly. Other council members were more vocal — with council members Henry Darby expressing full opposition to the proposal, and Jenny Honeycutt saying she looked forward to renegotiating with state leaders in the future.

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Work on freestanding James Island ER to begin this week

JAMES ISLAND, S.C. (WCIV) — A new medical facility is coming to James Island. Prep work on Trident Health’s new freestanding ER is expected to kick off this week.Trident Health officials say in just a year’s time from now, the James Island facility will give more immediate access to emergency care residents in the area.While rain delayed the official groundbreaking Monday, it will not slow down the work that will begin onsite. Trident Health officials say site prep is expected to begin in the coming days and m...

JAMES ISLAND, S.C. (WCIV) — A new medical facility is coming to James Island. Prep work on Trident Health’s new freestanding ER is expected to kick off this week.

Trident Health officials say in just a year’s time from now, the James Island facility will give more immediate access to emergency care residents in the area.

While rain delayed the official groundbreaking Monday, it will not slow down the work that will begin onsite. Trident Health officials say site prep is expected to begin in the coming days and materials will soon be brought to the new location at 945 Folly Road, located right across from the Palmetto Goodwill.

The $12.5 million facility will have 11 in-patient beds to start out, with the ability to grow to fit even more beds. It will be equipped with advanced imaging and diagnostic labs, as well as stroke and behavioral health telemedicine services.

Trident’s President and CEO Christina Oh says it was her connection to similar underserved communities which pushed her to expand Trident’s resources to the James Island area.

“It's really exciting to see that now we have an opportunity to bring emergency services and all the associated care that comes with that to a community that's needed it for a very long time. I’m from southern West Virginia, so I have a special passion, especially with my family coming from a public health background, I have a special passion for bringing health care, especially emergency care to communities that traditionally have not been exposed to it,” Oh said.

This will be Trident’s fourth freestanding Emergency Room facility, adding to locations in Monck’s Corner, Brighton Park and North Charleston, whose facilities served over 150,000 patients in 2021 alone.

A free-standing ER facility allows for the same emergency medical care given at larger medical center, like Trident Medical Center’s headquarters in North Charleston. However, the services would be within a smaller facility right in a community’s backyard.

Doctors say that not having to drive the extra 30 to 40 minutes to a medical center or ER facility can be the difference between life and death.

Facilities like the James Island ER can help stabilize patients in need of immediate care in situations such as strokes, heart attacks and other high trauma injuries until they can get to a larger medical center for further treatment.

The ER can also alleviate pressure on emergency departments at larger facilities when they are at capacity.

Trident Medical Center’s facilities helped over 350,000 people annually over the course of the pandemic and doctors say it was the challenges faced during those times which made expanding their resources a primary concern.

“I think COVID brought to light how important it was to have everybody to make sure that everybody has access to health care and to high quality health care,” Emergency Medical Physician with Trident Health, Ibrahim Isa said. “So when you improve your outreach and improve how easy it is for people to seek emergency medical care, you can actually improve outcomes and how healthy people are in some of these communities.”

The freestanding ER on James Island will be open for use 24/7 and is expected to be up and running by April of 2023.

The original groundbreaking ceremony was set for today at 10 a.m. Monday, but due to weather conditions, it will be pushed back two weeks to Monday, May 2 at the same time.

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