Senior Medicare Advantage plan insurance in Ladson, SC

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Helping Seniors Make Better-Informed Medicare Decisions

Trying to pick a health insurance plan can be a chore for anyone. For many people, just mentioning the word "open enrollment" sends shivers down the spine. It seems like there's always a nagging feeling that you're wasting money, choosing a plan with poor in-network care, or both. One would think that health insurance gets easier as you approach retirement age, but the truth is that picking an initial Medicare coverage plan can be daunting.

Unfortunately, the confusing process of signing up for Medicare causes many seniors to forego healthcare coverage altogether. After all, Medicare enrollment can involve several federal agencies, including the Social Security Administration (or SSA) and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (or CMS).

At Senior Medicare Insurance Services, our passion is guiding seniors through the confusion of Medicare. That way, they can enjoy retirement with peace of mind knowing they are protected and ready for life after 65. We work with dozens of insurance companies, giving our clients the chance to choose a plan that best fits their lifestyle.

We choose to design our senior insurance plans with a focus on optimal benefits structure, lower costs, and personalized service. Some independent insurance agencies see their aging customers as nothing more than a financial transaction waiting to happen. In contrast, we treat each of our clients with respect and dignity as we help them navigate the confusing waters of Medicare. Combined with individualized service, we help older Americans make well-informed decisions about insurance. Whether you're in need of senior Medicare Supplement Plan insurance in Ladson or simply have questions about signing up for Medicare, our team is here to help.

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Medicare Ladson, SC

Guiding You Through The Confusion of Medicare!

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What is Medicare?

If you're approaching the golden years of your life, it's important you understand what Medicare is if you don't already.

Medicare is a federal health insurance program reserved for people older than 65 who have worked full-time for at least ten years. The Medicare program is paid for by a combination of worker payroll tax, premiums paid by Medicare enrollees, and the U.S. government.

There are four parts of Medicare:

 Senior Medicare Advantage Plan Insurance Ladson, SC

This type of Medicare is free for most U.S. citizens. Medicare Part A helps older adults pay for care in a nursing facility, hospital visits, and some forms of in-home senior care.

This tier costs around $100 per month. It covers different outpatient services like lab tests, preventative care, doctor's visits, mental health care, clinical trials, and some forms of surgery.

This type of Medicare is most often called Medicare Advantage. This tier of Medicare allows seniors to choose health plans provided by insurance companies like Senior Medicare Insurance Services. Individuals who use Medicare Advantage commonly use Medicare supplement plan insurance to help pay for health care costs that Original Medicare won't cover, like coinsurance, deductibles, and copayments.

Sometimes called "PDPs," these plans add drug coverage to standard Medicare, some Medicare Private Fee-for-Service Plans (PFFS), some Medicare Cost Plans, and Medicare Medical Savings Account Plans (MSA).

The amount of money you pay for your health care depends on several factors, including:

At Senior Medicare Insurance Services, we offer a number of health insurance solutions for seniors. Two of our most used services include Medicare Advantage plan insurance and Medicare supplement plan insurance.

Senior Medicare Supplement Plan Insurance in Ladson

Sometimes called Medigap, the purpose of Medicare Supplement Insurance is to help fill in "gaps" that might not be covered by Original Medicare. You can think of a Medigap policy as a supplement for your Original Medicare benefits.

Private companies like Senior Medicare Insurance Services sell this type of insurance right here in South Carolina. While Original Medicare will pay for much of the cost associated with health care services you need, it may not cover all of your expenses. Generally, Medigap policies do not cover costs stemming from eyeglasses, private-duty nurses, dental care, hearing aids, or long-term care.

Depending on the Medicare Supplement Plan that you choose, it may cover out-of-the-country medical services when you travel abroad. Assuming you have Original Medicare coverage, your policy will cover its share of Medicare-approved health care costs. Once your Original Medicare coverage reaches its limit, your Medigap policy will pay its share of the fees.

Our Medigap policies are drafted to meet your specific needs, and can help cover remaining health care costs such as:

Deductibles

Copayments

Coinsurance

Important Information About Senior Supplement Plan Insurance

To dispel some confusion, you should know that a Medigap policy is not the same as a Medicare Advantage Plan. The latter helps you receive Medicare benefits, while the former supplements the benefits you obtain through your Original Medicare plan. As you begin to explore Medicare Supplement Insurance Plans, keep the following important information in mind:

 Senior Medicare Plans Ladson, SC

As you begin to explore Medicare Supplement Insurance Plans, keep the following important information in mind:

  • To qualify for a Medigap policy, you must first have Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B.
  • Payments on your Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan will be made to the private insurance company that you choose, like Senior Medicare Insurance Services. These payments are made every month and are paid in addition to the monthly payment you make for Medicare Part B.
  • If you are the holder of a Medicare Advantage Plan, it is illegal for an insurance company to sell you a senior Medicare Supplement Policy. If you plan on switching back to an Original Medicare plan, you may be able to purchase a Medigap policy.
  • If you have health problems as you age, your standardized Medigap policy is guaranteed to be renewable. So long as you pay your monthly premium, your insurance provider cannot cancel your policy.
  • Medigap policies only cover one person. If you have a spouse or family member that would like coverage, they must purchase a separate policy.
  • You may only buy a Senior Medicare Supplement Plan from an insurance agent that is licensed to sell them in your state. Senior Medicare Insurance Services has been licensed to sell Medigap policies in South Carolina for years. We have helped countless seniors get the Medicare coverage they need and continue to do so to this day.
  • In the past, Medigap policies were able to cover costs related to prescription drugs. As of January 1st, 2006, prescription drug coverage is not available on Medicare Supplement Plans. The best way to get coverage for your prescription drugs is to join a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan, often called Part D. Contact our office today to learn more about paying premiums on Medigap and Medicare plans.

For many people, the best time to buy senior Medicare Supplement Plan Insurance in Ladson is during the 7 months Medigap Open Enrollment Period. This period starts the day you turn 65 years old, so long as you hold Medical Insurance (Medicare Part B). Generally, during the enrollment period, you get more policy choices and better pricing. Once the enrollment period is over, you may not be able to purchase a Medigap policy. Contact Senior Medicare Insurance Services today to determine if you qualify for a Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan.

Senior Medicare Advantage Plan Insurance in Ladson, SC

A Medicare Advantage Plan is a kind of Medicare health coverage designed to provide seniors with all their Part A and Part B Medicare benefits. Many Medicare Advantage Plans will often include coverage of the following:

 Medicare Plans Ladson, SC

In addition, most Medicare Advantage Plans give seniors coverage for their prescription drug needs. When you enroll in a Medicare Advantage Plan through Senior Medicare Insurance Services, your Medicare benefits are covered through your plan and will not be paid for by traditional Medicare.

How Medicare Advantage Plans Work

Sometimes called "MA Plans" or "Part C," Medicare Advantage Plans are considered an "all in one" solution to Original Medicare. Senior Medicare Advantage Plans are only offered by private companies that are approved, like Senior Medicare Insurance Services. Seniors who enroll in a Medicare Advantage Plan are still on Medicare. However, these individuals enjoy bundled plans that give seniors the benefits of hospital insurance (Medicare Part A), medical insurance (Medicare Part B), and sometimes drug coverage (Part D).

Medicare Advantage Plans are very popular because they cover all Medicare services and make life a little easier for seniors who have trouble understanding the nuances of Medicare.

When you contact Senior Medicare Insurance Services to choose your Medicare Advantage Plan, ask your agent about Medicare prescription drug coverage. Unless you already have drug coverage (Part D), you should seriously consider Part D coverage to help reduce costs associated with prescription drugs. You may also want to consider a Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan to help fill gaps in coverage that Original Medicare will not cover.

 Senior Health Insurance Ladson, SC

Medicare Advantage Plan Insurance Rules

Medicare works by paying a set amount of money to the companies that offer senior Medicare Advantage Plan insurance in Ladson. That money is used to pay for the care services that you need. Because Medicare Advantage Plans are different, you should expect out-of-pocket costs to vary depending on the plan you choose.

Different plans have different rules for how you receive services, such as:

  • If you must go to facilities, suppliers, or doctors that belong to your Advantage Plan for non-urgent and non-emergency care.
  • Whether you must get a referral to see a specialized doctor
 Healthcare Ladson, SC

Companies that offer Medicare Advantage Plans must follow strict rules, which are set by Medicare and can change every year.

Paying for Your Senior Medicare Advantage Plan Insurance

How much you pay for your Medicare Advantage Plan varies and depends on a few different factors. In most cases, if you need a kind of medical service, you will need to rely on the doctors and providers in your plan's service area and network to pay the lowest amounts. In some cases, if you choose to use a service outside of your plan's network of coverage, you may have to pay out-of-pocket.

We encourage you to contact our office today to learn more about Medicare Advantage Plans, how they work, what your options are, and how often you will have to pay out-of-pocket, if at all.

 Burial Insurance Ladson, SC

The Senior Medicare Insurance Services Commitment

Since our company was founded, we have led the insurance industry by providing our clients with the most valuable, helpful insurance solutions available. We are fully committed to our current and prospective clients by:

  • Choosing to focus on personalized, one-on-one service. When you work with our team, know that we will always design your health insurance plan with your best interests in mind.
  • Listening to your specific needs.
  • Responding to all inquiries and questions promptly and with a friendly attitude.
  • Providing you with the best customer service in the senior health insurance industry, whether you have questions or are ready to move forward with a Medicare plan.
 Medicare Advantage Ladson, SC

Our mission is to help give seniors the best Medicare assistance available so that they may understand the Medicare process and make an informed health coverage decision. We have the knowledge, skills, and experience to assist anyone interested in Medicare. Our personal goal is to become a lifetime resource for our clients and give them greater confidence in choosing their insurance plans.

Latest News in Ladson, SC

Coastal Carolina Fair opens in Ladson

LADSON, S.C. (WCBD)- The annual Coastal Carolina Fair is underway at Exchange Park in Ladson.Most fairgoers have their eyes and stomachs on fair food for the first day.“They always have good food and it’s just a good time to spend with family. They have a little arts and crafts center where you can see the students’ local talents,” said Jasmine Kelly.“Sausage dogs and French fries. Walk around and look and see what’s going on,” said Woody Barsha.One of the new food items o...

LADSON, S.C. (WCBD)- The annual Coastal Carolina Fair is underway at Exchange Park in Ladson.

Most fairgoers have their eyes and stomachs on fair food for the first day.

“They always have good food and it’s just a good time to spend with family. They have a little arts and crafts center where you can see the students’ local talents,” said Jasmine Kelly.

“Sausage dogs and French fries. Walk around and look and see what’s going on,” said Woody Barsha.

One of the new food items on the menu is an Oreo cookie crusted turkey leg.

“No I don’t think so I’ll stick to French fries,” said Barsha.

“I can’t eat that much, but I will have an elephant ear,” said Kelly.

There are 10 new rides this year as well. One of them is a Ferris Wheel that’s 12 stories tall and comes from The Netherlands.

Fair organizers say that those new attraction and food items are great additions, but having a full-scale fair is also something to celebrate.

“We’re really excited about opening up because this is the first really big open fair we’ve had since COVID-19 has happened. We say ‘New in 22,’ and that’s what we’re doing because we have brand new rides, we have many new food vendors so we’re really excited about starting the year off right,” said Gary Leonard from the office of Media and Publicity Relations at the Coastal Carolina Fair.

Most families make the fair a tradition, but it’s even more special for Dan Caskey.

“Today’s my birthday. Every year I have a party and bring this to town to share with everybody else. It’s a great tradition. We love coming out here and having a fun time with the family,” said Caskey.

The fair runs for 12 days and hours of operation can be found here. A calendar of events can be found here.

MUSC honors employees for commitment and passion

The 2022 MUSC Service Awards were announced on Nov. 30, honoring employees who completed a decade or more with MUSC. Award winners received an email invitation to view a special message from MUSC leadership.“Thank you for all you've done for us,” said MUSC first lady Kathy Cole in the video. “Thank you for your commitment and your time and your passion for helping others. Thank you for be...

The 2022 MUSC Service Awards were announced on Nov. 30, honoring employees who completed a decade or more with MUSC. Award winners received an email invitation to view a special message from MUSC leadership.

“Thank you for all you've done for us,” said MUSC first lady Kathy Cole in the video. “Thank you for your commitment and your time and your passion for helping others. Thank you for being part of our family.”

Service awards are given to employees who reach milestones in their service to MUSC. In total, MUSC recognized 805 employees across the enterprise with service awards this year. Of those employees, 100 were honored for 30 or more years of service, including two who had completed 50 years of service. Altogether, the 2022 Service Award honorees have worked 26,020,800 cumulative hours and have a total of 12,510 cumulative years of service.

Due to COVID-19, honored employees will receive their milestone awards via mail, and 30-, 40-, and 50-year honorees will coordinate with home unit business managers to receive their personalized framed photos. Included in the mailing will also be a postcard from the president and first lady.

“On a day when we celebrate your incredible service, I thank you for your achievements and your tireless commitment,” said MUSC President David J. Cole, M.D., FACS.

40 Years: Mary Brigid Allen, Engineering & Facilities/Administration; Linda McCarson, Pathology & Laboratory Medicine; Elizabeth S. Pilcher, DMD, College of Dental Medicine

30 Years: Vertonya Perry Anderson, Library; John E. Baatz, PhD, Pediatrics; Prabhakar K. Baliga, MD, MS, Department of Surgery; Theresa H. Barnes, Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences; Narayan R. Bhat, PhD, Neurosciences; Melvin D. Butler, College of Dental Medicine; Thomas Karl Byrne, MBBCh, Department of Surgery; Wayne R. Fitzgibbon, PhD, Department of Medicine/Nephrology; Melanie A. Floyd, Pediatrics; Sandra S. Garner, PharmD, College of Pharmacy; Dwight Gore, Wellness Center; Philip D. Hall, PharmD, College of Pharmacy, Deans Office; Mark B. Hamner, MD, Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences; Suellen Hawkins, Department of Medicine/Infectious Disease; Kathie L. Hermayer, MD, MS, Department of Medicine; Pamela A. King-Hartzell, Department of Medicine/Infectious Disease; Cindy Laverne Knotts, Department of Surgery; Frances W. Lee, DBA, College of Health Professions; Kimberly Astrid Orr, AuD, Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery; Sunil J. Patel, MD, NeuroSurgery; Elizabeth A. Poth, AuD, Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery; Carol L. Wagner, MD, Pediatrics; Mark T. Wagner, PhD, Neurology; Marie Alston Watson, Office of Enrollment Management

50 Years: Irish R. Wright, General Accounting

40 Years: Valerie Ballard, Laboratory ? Clinical; J. W. Bradley, Application Integration; Mary Ann S. Carter, Education; Abigail A. Clark, Art 4E; Barbara Harris, Emergency Room; Patricia M. Houser, Histopathology & Special Stains; Jack F. Scheuer, MCP Kershaw Shp-Camden; Primary Care Ann H. Shuler, Med Records File Retrieval; Bobbi G. Strickland, Radiology – Diagnostic; Mary S. Thrasher, Main OR Surgery; Audrey Lee Wilder, Periop Call Center

30 Years: Kelli C. Bailey, Respiratory / PFT; David B. Barino, Plant Operations; Ann Benton, Therapeutic Services; Brenda J. Brown, Med/Surg (Unit/Floor 7); Donna N. Brown, Cardio-Cath Lab; Elnora H. Brown, Environmental Services; Gretchen Brown, Radiation Oncology/Combined; Johnnetta L. Buncum, 7 East Med Surg Unit; Tracy R. Burgess, Star – Ladson; Angela W. Coleman, Laboratory-Clinical Laboratory; Miles E. Davis, Cardiac Surgical Step-Down Unit; Traci L. Dennis, Administrative & General; Charlie W. Devlin, MCP Providence Heart Camden; Cassandra A. Dickerson, Registration Admin; John R. Evans, Bedboard; Melanie Brown Feaster, AMB Preop Clinic; Jeffery Allan Felesky, IS Infrastructure Operations; Mary Hughes Fischer, Clinical Informatics & Reg/Compliance; Donna E. Gallahorn, SJCH 1 Outpatient Services; Gilbert Neal Gilmore, Plant Maintenance; Terri D. Hall, Inpatient Acute – PT; Teresa Ann Harrison, Radiology Business Administration; Patsy R. Hawkins, Inservice Education; Pansy R. Henry, Standard Nur Home Care Hall 2; Shelia L. Hicks, Labor & Delivery; Crystal Deese Howell, MCP Flor Physician Practices Admin; Janet W. Hyman, Corp Quality - Flo Direct; Karen C. Isgett, MCP Pamplico Primary Care; Norma M. Khoury, MCP Providence Heart; Laurel ST; Alexander Lee King, Application Integration; Rebecca P. Lawrimore, OB; Mary Martschink Mccall, Perfusion Services; Dorothea D. Mauzon, MCP Providence Heart Columbia NE; Janet Mcowan, Operating Room; Sharon B. Mcleod, Nursing Supervisor; Sonja B. Muckenfuss, CH After Hrs & Spec Clinics S'ville; Charles R. Parker, Plant Operations; Karen Brinker Pregnall, Laboratory Svcs Education Program; Denise Katherine Robinson-Mcgee, CT; Gabriella F. Robosson, MCP Kershaw Shp-Camden Primary Care; Lisa Sand, MCP Providence Heart Columbia DT; Martha Smith, Bruce Hall / Detox; Michelle Audrey Vandermaas, Child Life Pediatrics; Francisco C. Vila, Open Heart Surgery Unit; Carolyn M. Wagner, Nursing Supervisor; Stacie C. Ward, Cardiac Rehab; Catherine Williams, Respiratory / PFT

40 Years: Bonnie T. Jones

30 Years: Bridget H. Conklin; Constance E. Elrod; Karen S. Majors; Angela Z. Malphrus; Priscilla A. Miller Laviscount; Teri W. Moody; Sharon D. Rakes; Donna D. Simmons; Pandora M. Speights; Rebecca M. Walker; Tasia Georgianna Walsh; Penelope D. Washington

Everything you need to know for this year's Coastal Carolina Fair

LADSON, S.C. (WCIV) — It's that time of year again! The annual Coastal Carolina Fair kicks off this week in Ladson with some brand new rides and foods.The fair opens this Thursday and Friday from 3 to 9 p.m.This year's fair will run from Thursday, Oct. 27 to Sunday, Nov. 6.RIDESThere will be around 65 rides in total this year, including some new ones.Thrill seekers will be excited to see the largest rol...

LADSON, S.C. (WCIV) — It's that time of year again! The annual Coastal Carolina Fair kicks off this week in Ladson with some brand new rides and foods.

The fair opens this Thursday and Friday from 3 to 9 p.m.

This year's fair will run from Thursday, Oct. 27 to Sunday, Nov. 6.

RIDES

There will be around 65 rides in total this year, including some new ones.

Thrill seekers will be excited to see the largest rollercoaster AND Ferris wheel they've had yet. The Ferris wheel is over 100-ft tall.

“We’ve got a brand-new carnival. It’s a big deal for us. We had a very long relationship with the last one, and this one had some opportunities to bring some new coasters, rollercoasters in. Some great rides, and we just couldn’t pass it up,” said Coastal Carolina Fair’s media relations spokesperson, Jay Wallace.

FOOD

A wide variety of tasty treats are on the menus: barbeque sandwiches, cinnamon rolls, bread pudding, funnel cakes, deep fried brownies- and the list goes on and gets more creative.

Some other options will include funnel cakes, elephant ears, and award-winning jalapeno corndogs.

Be sure to look out for the Oreo-encrusted turkey leg!

ENTERTAINMENT

In addition to rides and food, fairgoers will find lots of other entertainment.

TICKETS

Coastal Carolina Fair officials suspended online ticket sales until further notice after fraudulent activity was detected Wednesday.

Tickets can be purchased at Circle K stores or at the fair gates for the time being.

Credit and cash are accepted at the gate ticket booths, but only credit is accepted at the kiosks located at each entry gate.

Fair officials said do not buy tickets from people that approach you or posted online.

Check the fair's calendar for special discount days for seniors and more.

TICKET PRICES THROUGH OCTOBER 26TH:

TICKET PRICES BEGINNING OCTOBER 27TH:

SAFETY

The use of metal detectors and a clear plastic bag policy will continue for this season, and that there will be plenty of security. Some of it will be around the clock during the fair’s two-week run.

“The No. 1 rule we have around here that tells us if we’ve had a good fair is if we’ve had a safe fair," said Coastal Carolina Fair’s media relations spokesperson Jay Wallace.

All rides are inspected by multiple agencies, Grimm said.

Culver’s ButterBurger and HomeGoods ready to open in Ladson, North Charleston

A new frozen custard and burger restaurant soon will welcome customers in Ladson, and a home decor store is opening in a new shopping center in North Charleston.Culver’s plans to open at 10 a.m. Aug. 29 at 3848 Ladson Road next to Gilligan’s Seafood Restaurant, according to Marilyn Knox, the franchise owner who opened the first Charleston-area Culver’s in 2019 on U.S. Highway 17A in Berkeley County.The location also includes a drive-thru and patio, where live ...

A new frozen custard and burger restaurant soon will welcome customers in Ladson, and a home decor store is opening in a new shopping center in North Charleston.

Culver’s plans to open at 10 a.m. Aug. 29 at 3848 Ladson Road next to Gilligan’s Seafood Restaurant, according to Marilyn Knox, the franchise owner who opened the first Charleston-area Culver’s in 2019 on U.S. Highway 17A in Berkeley County.

The location also includes a drive-thru and patio, where live music will be available on opening evening and possibly once a week, Knox said. A ribbon-cutting ceremony is set for 10 a.m. opening day.

Culver’s specializes in its signature ButterBurgers and frozen custard. It also offers other meat sandwiches along with sides and salads.

The planned Culver’s is a few miles north of competitor Freddy’s Frozen Custard and Steakburgers, which opened last fall at 4540 Ladson Road near Stars and Strikes bowling and arcade center on the edge of Summerville.

Come on in

Another new retailer is ready to open its doors in a North Charleston retail center.

HomeGoods plans to host a grand opening Aug. 18, starting at 8 a.m., in the new Cedar Grove Shopping Center at 8821 Dorchester Road.

The 22,000-square-foot home decor shop is the latest merchant to join the new retail center. Already open are Ross Dress for Less, discount shop Five Below and cosmetics purveyor Ulta.

A 16,000-square-foot PetSmart pet supply shop is expected to open in September, and other shops are on the way to a newly constructed outparcel building closer to Dorchester Road.

Shopping center plans call for three more retail structures on the south side where land is currently being cleared next to Riverbluff Parkway in front of Cedar Grove Apartments.

What’s cooking?

A new restaurant is ready to welcome customers at the site of a recently closed dining spot in Mount Pleasant.

Pasture & Grain will officially open at 11 a.m. Aug. 19 at 1701 Shoremeade Road in Indigo Square Shopping Center on U.S. Highway 17.

It’s in the same retail center where national sporting goods retailer REI is upfitting the former Publix GreenWise Market grocery store space for an opening in the fall.

The restaurant is taking over the space vacated in May by Blaze Pizza, which closed after three years.

Pasture & Grain owner and operator Ira Hill said the 2,800-square-foot venue will serve American fare priced from $8 to $18.

Meats, vegetables, grains, hot and cold sandwiches, salads and toast with spreads are on the menu. Sous chef is Brandon Brown. The new restaurant will be open until 9 p.m. daily.

On the way

A Florida-based grocery chain with several stores in the Charleston area has rolled out curbside prescription pickup in four states. Publix Pharmacy started offering the service Aug. 10 in Alabama, Florida, Georgia and Virginia. South Carolina and North Carolina locations will be added in the future as the company expands the program throughout its entire operations in the Southeast.

Tan lines

A new tanning salon has opened in Mount Pleasant.

City Tan can be found at 1167 Basketweave Drive in the Cirque Salon Studios off U.S. Highway 17 near Six Mile Road. The owner is Liz Bailey, who also owns Bikini Bronze Charleston at 10 Exchange St. on the peninsula.

Ready to Rumble

A group boxing workout studio plans to make its South Carolina debut with three new sites.

Rumble Boxing plans to open in Charleston and Hilton Head Island. Locations have not been announced.

Rumble President Shaun Grove said boxing workouts are geared to all fitness levels and abilities and the company plans to continue its expansion across the nation.

The boxing-inspired studio delivers 45-minute, 10-round strength and conditioning group workouts crafted around teardrop-style aqua boxing bags and high-intensity strength-training circuits. Rumble is designed to build strength and relieve stress.

The New York City-based company has 25 franchise locations open across the U.S. Others are in development.

Ladson Road Streetscape Project draws feedback, concerns from locals

Dorchester County citizens had an opportunity to offer feedback and voice concerns about streetscape improvements planned for Ladson Road at the Aug. 22 public meeting held at the Dorchester County Council Chambers.Dorchester County personnel and consultant representatives from SeamonWhiteside, a local engineering and design firm, were on hand to discuss the project with citizens as a group and individually, as requested.The well-attended meeting showcased a lively discussion during which citizens expressed their concerns, fear...

Dorchester County citizens had an opportunity to offer feedback and voice concerns about streetscape improvements planned for Ladson Road at the Aug. 22 public meeting held at the Dorchester County Council Chambers.

Dorchester County personnel and consultant representatives from SeamonWhiteside, a local engineering and design firm, were on hand to discuss the project with citizens as a group and individually, as requested.

The well-attended meeting showcased a lively discussion during which citizens expressed their concerns, fears and frustrations over the project plans to date, as well as what is seen by many present as current problems that could be made worse going forward.

Construction of dedicated turn lanes at key intersections and installation of raised, landscaped medians with plantings and street lights are the key elements of the project. Video displays and print handouts were provided at the meeting to illustrate the plans under consideration. The project will impact the section of Ladson Road from the termination of the South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) Dorchester Road Safety Improvement project to Coopers Ridge Boulevard.

“Last night’s meeting was the first step in soliciting public input, and we received many good comments that will be considered as we continue to move the design forward,” said Daniel Prentice, Deputy County Administrator. The meeting followed the DOT public comment requirements, according to Prentice.

The Ladson Road Streetscape Project is part of the Oakbrook Redevelopment Plan which was established in 2019. The plan outlines a comprehensive, multi-agency plan to revitalize the Oakbrook area. Funding comes from Tax Increment Financing (TIF), a method for financing redevelopment in blighted, conservation and sprawl areas of counties. TIF utilizes incremental increases in assessed value and property taxes to fund projects.

The price tag for the overall Oakbrook Redevelopment Plan now stands at $5 million, but county officials insist that it is not represented by a tax increase or impact fee.

“A TIF district is not a tax increase,” said Prentice. “The entities that levy millage (the rate at which property taxes are levied) partner to send tax dollars resulting from growth in assessments of new or improved buildings to the TIF fund which funds the public improvements. The public improvements, in turn, are used to continue to spur new private growth, increasing the overall vitality of the area.”

County personnel and officials projected their belief that by making the area more attractive for retail and restaurant activities, improving pedestrian and bike safety, improving infrastructure, reducing traffic and increasing safety and other upgrades, investment dollars will increase; new business and development will be established.

Presentation of the project leaned heavily on the aesthetic and beautification benefits to be realized, but county officials and staff also stressed improvement in safety as a major goal. “Data shows that safety will be improved by closing off the current open medians and guiding traffic through the use of dedicated turn lanes and restricting other turning movements due to the proposed medians,” said Prentice. “While one of the goals of the TIF district is beautification, the County believes that an additional positive outcome will be the function and safety of the corridor.”

Not everyone in attendance was convinced. Several citizens expressed frustration in their view that the county is giving priority to aesthetics over safety and functionality. Concerns voiced included existing poor access to certain businesses, which could increase under the plan; traffic load; difficulty of large and service vehicles to navigate turns; challenges of cyclists; maintenance costs associated with the use of plants versus other materials for division; and problems arising out of the overlap of traffic routes between counties.

One business owner, whose business requires drop-off traffic, complained that attracting new business and traffic, when existing businesses are negatively impacted by current road and traffic design, is not in the best interest of businesses along Ladson Road.

Proponents of the plan defended medians as a more modern design consideration for roadway construction and advocated for guiding traffic to dedicated turn lanes.

“Access management studies show that the true overall impact is not negative, although acclimation to the changes is required due to new traffic patterns,” said Prentice.

Construction on the Ladson Road Streetscape Project is slated to begin mid-2023, according to county personnel. Additional information on the Ladson Road project, Oakbrook Redevelopment Plan and TIF can be found on the Dorchester County website at https://www.dorchestercountysc.gov.

Public comments, written or oral, are invited.

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