A new three-story hotel will be added to Jekyll Island’s Beach Village.
Conceptual plans for a new Home2Suites limited service hotel by Hilton was approved Monday by the Jekyll Island Authority Board.
Home2Suites will feature 107 guest rooms and a resort-style pool and will be built across from the Westin.
The board approved the plans subject to environmental and final design revisions. Construction is expected to start sometime in November.
Alice Keyes, with One Hundred Miles, a Brunswick-based environmental advocacy group, addressed the board regarding what she said has been lack of transparency with the hotel project.
“The public has not had an opportunity to provide feedback on the (hotel) design,” Keyes said after the meeting. “The public has a vested interest in the activity that occurs at this state park.”
In other business, representatives from Applied Technology and Management provided a brief overview to the authority regarding the approach the firm will take with its design work to address revetment erosion along the north shoreline.
Tim Mason, principal waterfront engineer with Applied Technology told the board on Monday that the 10-week process for engineering services will include public engagement.
The authority and Applied Technology will work with the Department of Natural Resources’ Coastal Marshlands Protection Committee to ensure a design that can be permitted.
Mason said the plan is to submit the permit application sometime in February but he is not sure how long it will take to get the permit.
Also on Monday, Noel Jensen, the authority’s chief of operations, presented a summary of Hurricane Matthew’s impact on the island.
According to Jensen, the hurricane resulted in 9,479 storm-related Jekyll Island Authority personnel hours, and more than $1.1 million in storm-related hard costs. The Federal Emergency Management Agency is expected to reimburse the authority $892,793 for costs incurred from the storm.
Storm impact included more than 36,000 cubic yards of debris removed and 286 trees downed on the golf courses.
Additionally, the board approved a request for information regarding improvements to golf operations on Jekyll Island.
Jones Hooks, executive director of the authority, stressed that the request is only for information from interested parties and is not seeking proposals to complete the project. The goal is to help inform the authority as it develops a plan for the future of golf on Jekyll Island.
The Georgia Sea Turtle is celebrating it’s 10th anniversary. Georgia Sea Turtle Center Director and Veterinarian Dr. Terry Norton provided the board with a summary of accomplishments and achievements during its 10 years of operations.
The center has treated more than 1,400 turtles, the majority of which were released back into the wild or transferred to aquariums. More than 600 birds have also been treated including wood storks, raptors and marine birds. Additionally, 2,450 diamondback terrapin eggs have been incubated and 800 hatched and released.
Jekyll’s 2017 fiscal year closed out on June 31 with revenues exceeding projections by eight percent, or $2.1 million. The island experienced an increase over projected revenues, despite two hurricanes and a rainy summer season. The additional revenues enabled the authority to add $725,398 into its cash reserves, $325,000 more than projected.
Bob Krueger, chairman of the Historic Preservation/Conservation Committee was elected as vice chairman of the board. Bill Gross, chairman of the finance committee, was approved as treasurer/secretary. L.C. “Buster” Evans, newly appointed to the board, accepted a position as chairman of the Human Resources Committee.