Bluffton Town Council has created a new May River advisory committee, and officials are hoping some well-connected residents will get involved.
“We’re looking for people who have some political clout, who are willing to make calls and knock on doors if that’s needed,” town stormwater engineer Ron Bullman told council members this week.
“We want individuals who aren’t afraid to get involved … if they have to,” he said.
The May River Watershed Action Plan Advisory Committee will meet “as needed” to propose policy changes, specific projects, partnership opportunities and new funding streams for cleanup efforts. It will have five members and a council member.
The town “hopes that this committee will not only provide access to a wider circle of knowledge and experience to better implement the plan, but will also provide a public venue to inform our citizens of the progress that is being made,” Kim Jones, the town’s water-quality program manager, wrote in an email.
Another river advisory committee, the May River Watershed Plan Implementation Committee, disbanded two months ago after completing its charge. That effort concentrated primarily on maintaining the river as a recreation source.
Town officials have been concerned about May River water quality for years, although the effort took on new urgency after parts of the river were closed to shellfish harvesting in 2009.
Since then, the town has spent millions of dollars on data collection, infrastructure projects and awareness campaigns. The town’s 2013 budget proposal aims to spend up to $1.5 million implementing Phase 1 of the action plan -- an effort that could include wetlands restoration, stormwater upgrades in various subdivisions, and sewer line extensions.
Town staffers will present a list of possible committee appointments for consideration during the June council meeting. Anyone interested in participating on the committee should contact Jones at 706-4593 or firstname.lastname@example.org.