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

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 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

Sullivan's Island residents launch campaign to get rid of fractional ownership homes

SULLIVAN'S ISLAND, S.C. (WCIV) — Sullivan's Island banned short-term rentals more than two decades ago, except those that were grandfathered in.Residents are concerned with one company they say is bending the rules.Tim Emrich says the home, located at 3115 Ion Avenue, has fractional ownership and is overseen by Pacaso.Emrich said Sullivan's Island is for families and retirees, not people on vacation, and with three children, they don’t want to live next to a home with many different owners.According to...

SULLIVAN'S ISLAND, S.C. (WCIV) — Sullivan's Island banned short-term rentals more than two decades ago, except those that were grandfathered in.

Residents are concerned with one company they say is bending the rules.

Tim Emrich says the home, located at 3115 Ion Avenue, has fractional ownership and is overseen by Pacaso.

Emrich said Sullivan's Island is for families and retirees, not people on vacation, and with three children, they don’t want to live next to a home with many different owners.

According to him, other residents on Sullivan's Island share his opinion and are not happy about it.

To try and stop it, he and his wife created a campaign to keep Sullivan's Island community oriented.

"We saw an advertisement where you could buy 1/8 of the house. After we dug a little deeper, it became apparent that this was, this is really a scheme to circumvent the rules that have been in place for over 20 years in a small town that limit short-term rentals; they prohibit them unless you were one of the properties prior 20 years ago," Emrich said.

Driving up and down streets on Sullivan's Island, you can't miss the signs that read "Stop timeshares on Sullivan's."

Emrich and his wife passed around the yard signs and have been attending town council meetings to try and stop Pacaso from selling homes on the barrier island.

"Our aim is to first of all raise awareness. We've obviously got over 200 signs out across the island. Any residents you speak to on Sullivan's Island adamantly oppose this game. Every member of the council is opposed to the scheme. And so, really, we're pushing the politicians to do something about it," Emrich said.

Emrich tells us the campaign's primary goal is to get town leaders to enforce the rules that are already on the books and push these types of companies and homes out.

He says communities across the country have successfully fought these types of companies.

"They're assuring us that they are on this. The government does not move this fast, and we would like them to, but they are giving us every assurance that they that they're going to do something about it," Emrich said.

Mayor Patrick O'Neil says residents feel short-term rentals destroy the sense of neighborhood.

He thinks no one wants to live next to a group of people on their first night of vacation.

“After a great deal of research and study, last week we issued a notice of zoning violation to the owners of the property in question here, and we are awaiting a response," Mayor O'Brien said.

Pacaso spokesperson Brian McGuigan stated: "Pacaso is not a timeshare. We help families co-own second homes, which is common practice and can help reduce competition for single-family homes on Sullivan's Island. Research shows that co-ownership contributes more to the local economy than the typical second home while redirecting second home buyers away from median-priced single-family homes in demand by locals and into high-end, luxury homes.”

Pacaso explains they aren’t a timeshare and retain no ownership interest in the home once sold, but they provide property management services.

Pacaso insists they will collaborate with Sullivan's Island leaders on any related public policy questions.

The company believes an ordinance addressing Pacaso’s model could broadly impact many houses.

Coexistence is key to dealing with IOP coyotes, animal control says

Though coyote sightings were significantly down on the Isle of Palms in 2022, this largely has to do with the way sightings are recorded. The coyote dens, particularly in the Wild Dunes area of the island, are still active and coexistence is key when it comes to protecting property and pets, animal control officials said.According to Ryan Warren, an animal control officer for the City of the Isle of Palms, there were 17 reports of coyote sightings in 2020, 107 in 2021 and 31 in 2022. The significant spike in 2021 was mostly due to a c...

Though coyote sightings were significantly down on the Isle of Palms in 2022, this largely has to do with the way sightings are recorded. The coyote dens, particularly in the Wild Dunes area of the island, are still active and coexistence is key when it comes to protecting property and pets, animal control officials said.

According to Ryan Warren, an animal control officer for the City of the Isle of Palms, there were 17 reports of coyote sightings in 2020, 107 in 2021 and 31 in 2022. The significant spike in 2021 was mostly due to a change in record-keeping on animal control’s part. Officers began to note coyote sightings posted on Facebook in 2021, but it quickly became too much for the officers to keep up with.

“It was too much for us. So we reverted to recording whoever calls about coyote sightings or if they see any footprints or scat, it’s recorded,” Warren said.

There was a single report of a coyote attacking a dog in 2022. Most reports come from calls about spotting the animal on the beach or near wooded areas. Though IOP has not recorded any coyote sightings in 2023 so far, South Carolina Department of Natural Resources Biologist Jay Butfiloski said sightings may increase during the winter months.

“It’s not uncommon to see an increase in sightings during this time of the year as it coincides with breeding season, less foliage on some of the trees and shrubs making it a little easier to see farther into the woods in some places,” Butfiloski said.

Warren said that it’s common to see the coyotes in the early hours of the morning and later in the evenings on the beaches and in the dunes, especially near 26th Avenue. The coyotes are typically on the hunt for small rodents and rabbits. During the summer months, coyotes prey on Loggerhead turtle eggs.

Coyotes weigh around 30 to 45 pounds and have the appearance of a small dog. The animals are not native to the state and first appeared in South Carolina in the 1970s in the upstate. Since then, they have made their way to the Lowcountry, and now coyote populations are present in every county in the state. Warren said that coyotes are good swimmers, and will sometimes swim over from Dewees Island. This has created the “hotspot” in Wild Dunes.

The city of Isle of Palms, as well as the towns of Mount Pleasant and Sullivan’s Island, have coyote management plans to address the wild animal populations. “Hazing” is a method of deterring coyotes by making loud noises or throwing objects at the animals to instill fear. This fear of humans is key to coexisting peacefully and safely, as it will make coyotes less likely to attack or approach a human.

Butfiloski said that food is sparse, so coyotes may have to search more for something to eat, resulting in more sightings. It’s best to keep trash and small pets locked up to decrease the chances of a run-in with the animal.

“Keep pets and pet food indoors. If your pets are left outside, put their food or any food bowls away during the night as the residual smells can be an attractant to coyotes. Take down your bird feeders. Coyotes will not only eat the birdseed but also small mammals that visit these feeders,” Butfiloski said.

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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.

Sullivan’s Island celebrates Carolina Day 2022

Residents and island visitors gathered on a clear Saturday at the steps of Town Hall Plaza on Sullivan’s Island to commemorate the 246th anniversary of the Battle of Sullivan’s Island, an annual event hosted by Battery Gadsden Cultural Center.On June 28, 1776, Sgt. William Jasper and others from the Second South Carolina Regiment, which was commanded by Col. William Moultrie, hoisted a regimental flag upon a partially completed palmetto ...

Residents and island visitors gathered on a clear Saturday at the steps of Town Hall Plaza on Sullivan’s Island to commemorate the 246th anniversary of the Battle of Sullivan’s Island, an annual event hosted by Battery Gadsden Cultural Center.

On June 28, 1776, Sgt. William Jasper and others from the Second South Carolina Regiment, which was commanded by Col. William Moultrie, hoisted a regimental flag upon a partially completed palmetto log fort to defend colonial Charleston against a major land and sea assault led by British Admiral Sir Peter Parker and Gen. Henry Clinton.

On Saturday, emcee Chuck Galis welcomed the gathering crowd to a Carolina Day celebration. Sullivan’s Island Mayor Patrick O’Neil read a proclamation to kick off the ceremony. Members of Boy Scout Troop 59, which meets regularly at Stella Maris Church on the island, led a presentation and raising of the bright blue Moultrie Flag, followed by a dramatic musket salute by members of the modern-day Second South Carolina Regiment.

Maggie Adams, regent for St. Sullivan Chapter-NSDAR, recalled the life, death and courageous example of Col. Michael Kovats, a Hungarian cavalryman who trained and led the Continental Army during the British siege of Charleston. In January 1777, Kovats penned a letter to then-American Ambassador in France, Benjamin Franklin, in which he pledged his sword to defend the Continental Army’s cause. He famously closed the letter with the salutation, “Most faithful unto death.” Kovats ultimately gave his life in the American War for Independence on May 11, 1779. (Wikipedia reports, “To this date, Michael de Kovats is celebrated by cadets at The Citadel Military College in Charleston, South Carolina, where part of the campus is named in his honor. The Hungarian Embassy in Washington, D.C., has a statue sculpted by Paul Takacs and executed by Attila Dienes.”)

Mike Walsh, president of the Battery Gadsden Cultural Center, closed the ceremony by conveying the 2022 Cultural Stewardship Award to former Sullivan’s Island resident Wayne Stelljes. The Rev. Dr. Daniel W. Massie offered a benediction.

Rob Byko is a local Realtor and avid photographer. All photos in this story are by Rob Byko Photography and are copyrighted. All rights reserved.

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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.

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