Senior Medicare Advantage plan insurance in Sullivan's Island, 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 Sullivan's Island or simply have questions about signing up for Medicare, our team is here to help.

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Medicare Sullivan's Island, SC

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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 Sullivan's Island, 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 Sullivan's Island

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 Sullivan's Island, 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 Sullivan's Island 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 Sullivan's Island, 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 Sullivan's Island, 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 Sullivan's Island, 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 Sullivan's Island. 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 Sullivan's Island, 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 Sullivan's Island, 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 Sullivan's Island, 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 Sullivan's Island, SC

Bids for Dominion’s Sand Dunes Club on Sullivan’s came in $2.8M below prior offer

Dominion Energy hoped to sell the beachfront Sand Dunes Club on Sullivan’s Island for $19 million to a company owned by Ben Navarro, but now plans to sell it for much less — $16.2 million — to the former owner of Money Man Pawn.The $19 million offer from SDC Island Resident Club LLC, a subsidiary of Navarro’s Beemok Capital, evaporated after the state Public Service Commission ordered the utility to seek bids for the property.Dominion received three bids for the 3.5-acre space and ...

Dominion Energy hoped to sell the beachfront Sand Dunes Club on Sullivan’s Island for $19 million to a company owned by Ben Navarro, but now plans to sell it for much less — $16.2 million — to the former owner of Money Man Pawn.

The $19 million offer from SDC Island Resident Club LLC, a subsidiary of Navarro’s Beemok Capital, evaporated after the state Public Service Commission ordered the utility to seek bids for the property.

Dominion received three bids for the 3.5-acre space and has asked the Public Service Commission to approve the highest one, the $16.2 million offer.

“Although Dominion Energy would have preferred to sell the property to SDC Island Resident Club LLC for $19 million, that option no longer exists, and the company has concluded that $16.2 million is a fair price for the Sand Dunes Property,” Rhonda O’Banion, media relations manager for Dominion, said April 18.

The PSC order was meant to ensure that utility ratepayers’ interests were being served by seeking the highest price for the property, but appears to have cost them $2.8 million instead.

PSC spokesman Rob Bockman said the commission can’t talk about pending cases under rules of judicial conduct.

Dominion has said in filings to the commission that the sale of the property would not change the utility’s rates or pricing.

Prior to the PSC order in February, Navarro’s company was widely expected to buy the property, partly because Sullivan’s Island signed an agreement with Beemok more than a year ago outlining how the 3.5 acres and historic club could be used.

“While Beemok decided to not take part in the public bid process to acquire the Sand Dunes Club, we are hopeful that the process results in a positive outcome for the Sullivan’s Island community at large,” said Chris Allen, a spokesperson for Beemok Capital.

The company rebuffed questions about why it lost interest after previously offering what would have been by far the highest bid.

The top bid of $16.2 million came from John Derbyshire on behalf of a company called JLLM LLC. In South Carolina, limited liability companies (LLCs) are often created for real estate deals.

“We are hopeful that the property transaction will receive all necessary approvals, and we can move forward in the best interest of our customers and the communities we serve,” said O’Banion.

Derbyshire declined to comment. He’s a former owner of Money Man Pawn, a large chain of pawn shops known for their eye-catching yellow-and-green paint scheme, which was sold for $30 million in 2013.

Derbyshire is also known for accumulating extensive property holdings through foreclosure sales, and for buying local restaurant properties. In 2020, one of his affiliates bought Shem Creek Bar & Grill for $4.9 million, and at the time he owned properties that housed restaurants on Sullivan’s Island and Isle of Palms.

The Sand Dunes Club plan laid out in the memorandum between Beemok and Sullivan’s Island called for using the power company’s facility as a membership club for island residents.

The agreement detailing how the property could be used applies regardless of the owner, according to the town. It’s actually five adjoining properties, and houses could potentially be built on four of them.

The Sand Dunes Club building is protected as an historic structure and could not be demolished without the town’s permission.

The beachfront venue was once part of Fort Moultrie. In the 1950s, South Carolina Electric & Gas bought the property from the federal government for $27,000 as properties associated with the fort were being sold.

With a large clubhouse, swimming pool, tennis courts and direct beach access, it was used for decades as a corporate retreat, by island residents, and rented out for events and meetings. Dominion Energy acquired the property when it bought SCE&G.

Dominion Energy lists Sullivan’s Island Sand Dunes Club for sale with $19M offer in hand

SULLIVAN’S ISLAND — Dominion Energy hopes to sell the Sand Dunes Club to a company owned by local billionaire Ben Navarro for $19 million, with plans in place to make it a club for island residents and property owners.The historic beachfront venue was created in the 1950s after South Carolina Electric & Gas bought the 3.5 acres from the federal government for $27,000 as properties associated with Fort Moultrie were being sold.With a large clubhouse, swimming pool, tennis courts and direct beach access, it was us...

SULLIVAN’S ISLAND — Dominion Energy hopes to sell the Sand Dunes Club to a company owned by local billionaire Ben Navarro for $19 million, with plans in place to make it a club for island residents and property owners.

The historic beachfront venue was created in the 1950s after South Carolina Electric & Gas bought the 3.5 acres from the federal government for $27,000 as properties associated with Fort Moultrie were being sold.

With a large clubhouse, swimming pool, tennis courts and direct beach access, it was used for decades as a corporate retreat, by island residents and rented out for events and meetings. Dominion Energy acquired the property when it bought SCE&G.

The energy company sought the state Public Service Commission’s permission to sell the property for $19 million to a subsidiary of Navarro’s Beemok Capital called SDCC Island Resident Club. In February the commission instead required Dominion list the property for sale and solicit bids.

“This simply means that Dominion Energy will need to determine whether other potential buyers exist,” said Rhonda Maree O’Banion, Dominion’s media relations manager.

“After the competitive bidding process is complete, Dominion Energy will report back to the commission and if necessary, update its request for approval to sell the Sand Dunes property,” she added.

The sale to Navarro’s company has been anticipated on Sullivan’s Island, a barrier island with fewer than 2,000 residents where the average home sale price in 2021 was nearly $3.2 million according to the Charleston Trident Association of Realtors.

One year ago the town signed an agreement with Navarro’s company that laid out plans to potentially renovate the club and operate it for island residents.

Beemok, the February 2021 agreement says, “desires to purchase the property from its current owner, renovate the clubhouse and operate the club.”

The agreement also says “the town believes a club with membership limited to town residents and property owners” would be desirable if the club were sold.

“That’s what we were expecting was going to happen,” Sullivan’s Island Mayor Patrick O’Neil said. “Mr. Navarro and his group have worked closely with the town.”

The agreement is non-exclusive and the same conditions apply to the property regardless of who were to buy it, he said.

The agreement says the price of membership in the club would not exceed the cost of operating the club, and the town would get to review confidential financial statements to ensure that provision.

Residents and town property owners could become members, and nonmembers could still use the pool for a fee comparable to what municipal recreation departments charge in Mount Pleasant or on Isle of Palms, the agreement says.

The address is considered a large property that’s most valuable as a potential site for new homes according to an appraisal submitted by Dominion, but the clubhouse is protected as an historic structure and could not be demolished without the town’s permission.

The property would not be the first iconic Charleston-area locale purchased by Navarro’s companies if his bid is successful. His companies own the Charleston Place hotel, purchased last year for $350 million, and the Credit One Bank Stadium on Daniel Island.

Efforts to reach representatives of Beemok Capital and the company’s public relations firm by phone and email were unsuccessful Friday.

The sale of the property would not change Dominion Energy’s utility rates or pricing according to the company’s Public Service Commission filing.

In 2021 Dominion turned over more than 2,900 acres of property as part of a $165 million tax settlement with the S.C. Department of Revenue, resolving a three-year dispute over taxes owed on parts and materials purchased to build the V.C. Summer nuclear plant, which was not completed. The Sand Dunes Club was not a part of that deal, but other former clubs and retreats in Aiken, Lexington and Georgetown counties were, and some of those will be added to the state’s park system.

Brian Symmes, spokesman for Gov. Henry McMaster’s office, said the state had been interested in the Sand Dunes Club property, but the cost was too high.

“There was interest in it being part of the settlement agreement, but at the end of the day it was just much too expensive,” he said.

The more than 2,900 acres South Carolina acquired, which included the Pine Island Club on Lake Murray, cost the state about $50 million — the amount Dominion’s tax debt was reduced in exchange for those properties. The Sand Dunes Club property, less than 4 acres, would presumably have cost at least the $19 million Beemok Capital has offered, and make for an unusually expensive park purchase.

The tax settlement was a part of the relief provided to ratepayers, shareholders and governments who sued after Dominion’s predecessor SCE&G abruptly ended construction at the V.C. Summer site in 2017.

Town leaders, advocates say cutting of Sullivan’s Island Maritime Forest likely illegal

SULLIVAN’S ISLAND, S.C. (WCBD) – Sullivan’s Island leaders say they’re hiring an attorney to look at ways to overturn a plan that could lead to large portions of the island’s maritime forest being cut down. The vote to hire Attorney William Wilkin came just days after a portion of the forest was potentially illegally cut near Station 26 on the island.Drone footage provided by SI4ALL shows a section roughly the width of a house was cleared. The clearing is raising concerns for residents while town official...

SULLIVAN’S ISLAND, S.C. (WCBD) – Sullivan’s Island leaders say they’re hiring an attorney to look at ways to overturn a plan that could lead to large portions of the island’s maritime forest being cut down. The vote to hire Attorney William Wilkin came just days after a portion of the forest was potentially illegally cut near Station 26 on the island.

Drone footage provided by SI4ALL shows a section roughly the width of a house was cleared. The clearing is raising concerns for residents while town officials say they are investigating to determine if the cutting was illegal.

“We were heartbroken and devastated to see the extent of the cutting,” says Karen Byko, President of SI4ALL.

The clearing has town leaders and residents including Byko scrambling to stop the chop of the island’s accreted forest the say provides protection from storms and flooding while offering a home for native wildlife.

“Concern is that we are devastating the very thing that is protecting us and it provides a home to our wildlife partners,” says Byko.

A majority of the cutting happened behind a house near Station 26 on Atlantic Avenue. Zillow records show the house was listed for sale on February 10th, around the time the cutting was believed to have happened, for $2.9 million. The house was then taken off the market five days later on February 15th after concerns over the cutting were raised at a town council meeting.

News 2 went to the home in front of the cutting to ask the owners if they knew anything about the cutting, a housekeeper was the only person home at the time and declined to answer questions.

The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control says they haven’t received any tree cutting permits from either the Town of Sullivan’s Island or private residents. The agency says they recommended more discussion at the local level late last year before permitting any clearing of vegetation.

Town councilmembers Gary Visser and Scott Millimet called the cutting illegal and disheartening to see.

“The disregard for our community that they are a part of,” says Visser. Millimet called the act “extremely selfish.”

Sullivan’s Island Mayor Pat O’neil says the town is conducting a serious and thorough investigation into the cutting to identify those responsible and hold them accountable. Town officials are hopeful stricter penalties for cutting trees will be adopted by Town Council moving forward.

“If somebody says you’re going to have to wear an orange jumpsuit for 30 days, that might be a bigger deterrent,” says Millimet.

“We hope that they will prosecute to the fullest extent of the law,” says Byko.

The Army Corps of Engineers says they have not been contacted to investigate the cutting. Town officials say they will continue to investigate the incident.

Commentary: Sullivan’s Island’s accreted land is hardly a ‘marvel of nature’

I have lived on Sullivan’s Island for 25 years. I’m a physician, and consider myself to be an advocate of the environment and historical preservation.In fact, I own the only property on the island that has been recognized and awarded the Carolopolis award by the Preservation Society of Charleston.When I read Brian Hicks’ column Wednesday, I wondered if he’d ever stepped foot in the island’s accreted land.He described the maritime forest as a “public park and a marvel of nature,” ...

I have lived on Sullivan’s Island for 25 years. I’m a physician, and consider myself to be an advocate of the environment and historical preservation.

In fact, I own the only property on the island that has been recognized and awarded the Carolopolis award by the Preservation Society of Charleston.

When I read Brian Hicks’ column Wednesday, I wondered if he’d ever stepped foot in the island’s accreted land.

He described the maritime forest as a “public park and a marvel of nature,” but I challenge him or anyone else to stroll off of the public beach paths that cut through it.

If invasive species are your thing, then what you find may be a “marvel,” but be sure to bring your snake boots and thick clothing. The vast majority of the accreted land is nothing like the picturesque photos routinely published in The Post and Courier.

There is no mention in the settlement agreement of a plan to “chop down much of the island’s maritime forest,” as Mr. Hicks describes it. The agreement — copies of which are readily available through the town’s website and other public sources — spells out exactly what vegetation will be removed and what will remain.

I have been a witness to the accreted land battle on the island that has lasted for nearly 30 years. The self-described “islanders” who have orchestrated this 11th-hour effort to upend the settlement agreement are united only in their opposition to any reasonable land management.

Some even have gone so far as to physically block machinery that was widening the Station 16 beach path after a girl was assaulted on it in 2007.

The accreted land issue really should have been settled right after that horrible event.

Her haunting testimony — “I thought ... this is it, nobody can hear my screams ..., I’m all alone” — still resonates as a warning that the unnatural overgrowth has gone too far.

The settlement agreement that was proposed in the regular course of town business, and supported and voted on by the prior elected Town Council, is a reasonable compromise.

The alternative is many more years of additional lawsuits and hundreds of thousands (or perhaps millions) of dollars in legal fees borne by taxpayers.

Mr. Hicks applauded Mayor Pat O’Neil for making the analogy that relying on the town attorneys’ advice was essentially like getting a second opinion from the same doctor.

Well, if you’re a hypochondriac and have seen the same doctor for 20 years, and yet insist that the doctor is now wrong, you’re going to have to foot the bill if you want all the tests repeated.

That’s exactly the case here. The insurance company is going to deny the care, and we’re going to pay our second-opinion lawyer hundreds of dollars an hour and a hefty retainer.

Up until now, an insurance policy has paid the town’s legal fees, which are in a million-dollar range to date.

Now, William Wilkins’ legal fees will be paid by the town directly.

Which, of course, means that we the taxpayers will pay.

It is important to note that protected land grants and town-owned rights of way on the mayor’s side of the island — the waterway side — have little if any restriction imposed on shrub and tree removal.

Despite what the “conservationists” say, the settlement is a reasonable compromise that serves our island well. It should be implemented by the town without further shenanigans or delay.

The only thing the opponents want to preserve is conflict and hostility, and their vitriol has poisoned our island community.

Mr Hicks’ opinion seems nothing more than an echo chamber fed to him by the usual suspects.

Steven Poletti is a Sullivan’s Island resident.

Get a weekly recap of South Carolina opinion and analysis from The Post and Courier in your inbox on Monday evenings.

Sullivan’s Island investigating illegal cutting of maritime forest

SULLIVAN’S ISLAND, S.C. (WCBD) – The Town of Sullivan’s Island is searching for those responsible for cutting down part of the island’s maritime forest. Town leaders are hoping to establish stricter penalties to prevent future cutting while residents are hoping the trees can be replaced.An employee with the town noticed the cutting around February 9th and reported it to town leaders leading to the town opening an investigation. Town leaders say preventing future cutting might be achieved through jail time or st...

SULLIVAN’S ISLAND, S.C. (WCBD) – The Town of Sullivan’s Island is searching for those responsible for cutting down part of the island’s maritime forest. Town leaders are hoping to establish stricter penalties to prevent future cutting while residents are hoping the trees can be replaced.

An employee with the town noticed the cutting around February 9th and reported it to town leaders leading to the town opening an investigation. Town leaders say preventing future cutting might be achieved through jail time or stricter fines.

“This is the epitome of selfishness,” says Town Councilman Scott Millimet reacting to the cutting.

Island residents were also upset with the cutting. “It’s clear these trees weren’t cut by accident, I mean they were purposefully cut to someone’s benefit,” says one resident.

A number of trees along Station 26, the width of a house were chopped and dropped in the town’s maritime forest. The island’s forest has become the center of a debate to save the town’s accredited land over the last several years.

“It damages everybody, it doesn’t just (damage) the two neighbors,” the resident said.

Dozens of trees have been marked and documented by town employees after being cut down. Councilman Millimet says residents couldn’t believe it when learning of the illegal cutting.

“General shock, frustration – bitterness,” says Councilman Millimet when referring to what he’s heard from residents.

Each tree cut down comes with a $1,040 fine but residents and leaders say that might not be enough to prevent future cutting.

“This just proves that there are those out there that until the punishment is enhanced, it’s going to continue,” says Councilman Millimet.

Councilman Millimet believes the fines should be raised and jail time considered for those responsible. “We can try to do some replanting,” says Councilman Millimet. “And then I think we also need to focus on enhancing the punishment.”

Advocates fighting for the future of the maritime forest agree with the measure. “While there are penalties, they are not severe enough to disincentive someone from potentially doing this again,” says Karen Byko, President of Sullivan’s Island 4 All.

With the damage already done along Station 26, leaders and residents hope they can stop additional chopping in the future.

“At the very least, I hope they replant these trees,” says the resident.

“There’s quite a bit of work to do but like I said we’ve got to get the ball rolling because the longer we wait, certain residents have shown that they will act in their own best interest and we’ve got to figure out how to prevent that,” says Councilman Millimet.

Town officials declined to provide a comment on the latest in the investigation.

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