We have strict accounting protocols in place that provide the highest level of security to your association funds. Learn more about fiscal responsibility at SCS.

Southern Community Services’ Charleston, S.C. Office Announces New Hires And New Community Management Clients In Lowcountry

Southern Community Services’ Charleston, S.C. Office Announces New Hires and New Community Management Clients in Lowcountry

July 26, 2017 (Charleston, S.C.) – Southern Community Services (SCS), one of only six AAMC-accredited homeowner association management firms in South Carolina, recently announced several new hires and community management clients in the Charleston, S.C., area. Staff and community details can be viewed online on the SCS website at http://www.trustscs.com.

SCS manages close to 180 communities across the Carolinas and is staffed with accredited professionals who work to maintain efficient communities ranging in size from small neighborhoods to large, master-planned developments like Lake Carolina in the Midlands, the Reserve at Lake Keowee in the Upstate and Park West, Dunes West and I’On in the Charleston area. SCS has grown its portfolio steadily since its founding in 2000 by principals Chuck Munn and Larry Ridlehoover; the firm now employs 45 accredited professionals across North and South Carolina.

New SCS Communities in the Charleston, S.C. Market

McKewn Plantation North, a large neighborhood of single family homes located in Summerville, South Carolina, is joining the SCS community. It will have an exceptional amenities complex, to be completed in 2018. Close to downtown Summerville, with easy access to I-26, McKewn Plantation North connects residents and visitors to downtown Charleston, local beaches and the surrounding tri-county area.

Another new SCS client is Snee Farm, an 890-home neighborhood conveniently located close to the beach, with large lot sizes, county parks and retail stores near the heart of downtown Charleston. A private country club with a full-service restaurant and bar, tennis courts, multiple pools and numerous social events can be found in the Snee Farm community.

Also new to the SCS family is The Bridges at Seven Lakes, a new-construction, waterfront community by DR Horton located in Huger, S.C., expected to have 150 homes with resort-style amenities and a 60-acre lake, including a kayak storage area and access to Berkeley County Schools.

Inside of Park West in Mt. Pleasant, S.C., new SCS clients include Salterbeck at Park West, Wheatstone at Park West, Avian at Park West, and Center Park South. Wassamaw Plantation, a 97-home community in Monck’s Corner, S.C., rounds out the new arrivals to the SCS portfolio.

Returning to the SCS family is Berkleigh at Park West in Mt. Pleasant, S.C., a 75-home community with a common area island tucked nicely in the center, surrounded by three ponds throughout the neighborhood.

“Southern Community Services is excited about the opportunity to expand the communities it serves,” said Ken Tamsin, CEO of SCS. “Charleston, S.C., is one of the most rapidly-growing markets in the country and affords us the opportunity to compete at the highest level.”

Information on community management services and 24-7 online services for homeowners can be accessed online via the SCS website at http://www.trustscs.com.

New SCS Staff in the Charleston, S.C. Region

In the Mount Pleasant area, Mark Fitzpatrick is the new on-site manager of The Battery at Park West. Fitzpatrick is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts Amherst and holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration. He has been professionally managing community associations for four years, specializes in overall community enhancement with a focus on protecting residents’ investment in their homes and is a Certified Manager of Community Associations (CMCA). Fitzpatrick’s goal at The Battery at Park West is to raise it to the status of a premiere condo community in Mt. Pleasant by working closely with the SCS board of directors.

John Eysen is the new administrator at Lower Dunes West in Mount Pleasant. Eyson was born and raised in Charleston, South Carolina, has a degree in business administration from the University of South Carolina and currently lives in the Tri-County area where he enjoys working for SCS.

Chris Barclay is a new Park West community association manager. Chris Barclay was born and raised in New Jersey, graduated from Cornell University in 2000 and has a business background in data and business analytics. After moving to Mt. Pleasant in 2015 and becoming active on his HOA board, Barclay was interested in joining the SCS team.

Jesse Johnson is a new community association manager. Jesse Johnson was born and raised in Augusta, Georgia, holds degrees in fine arts and business management from Charleston Southern University and is currently preparing to receive the Project Management Professional (PMP) certificate later this year. He has lived in Charleston for 15 years with his wife and daughter.

Emily Simpson is a new community manager at the Bridges at Seven Lakes in the Berkeley County school district. Emily Simpson has lived in Charleston for seven years; prior to settling in the South, she lived in Philadelphia, Virginia and spent 12 years living overseas. In the Charleston area, she worked at the Kiawah Island Community association before becoming an SCS team member.

At SCS’ Lowcountry headquarters on Rivers Ave., Sue Shunk is a new community association manager. Sue Shunk recently relocated to the Charleston area from Northern Virginia, where she worked in community management and is a Certified Manager of Community Associations. She enjoys the exciting offerings of life in HOA management, as each day yields new experiences, and looks forward to working on the SCS team.

“Our organization is successful because we have a remarkable team,” adds Tamsin. “Our staff are motivated to be the best in the industry, and we reinforce this with training and accreditation to ensure that our clients receive the most effective, efficient community management services available in the Carolinas.”

Learn more about SCS and view staff bios at http://www.trustscs.com.

About Southern Community Services

Founded in 2000, Southern Community Services (SCS) specializes in the management of homeowner associations across the Carolinas, with a longstanding reputation as the leader in its industry. Staffed with accredited professionals who work diligently to accommodate the unique needs of each community, SCS provides turnkey solutions, state-of-the-art technology and decades of association management experience to boards, with senior-level involvement in every aspect of the business. Learn more about SCS at www.trustscs.com.

 Media Contact: Meg Parker, Flock and Rally, 704-942-0742, meg@flockandrally.com

 

Southern Community Services Announces New Hires And New Community Management Clients In Columbia, SC

Southern Community Services Announces New Hires and New Community Management Clients in Columbia, SC

July 26, 2017 (Columbia, S.C.) – Southern Community Services (SCS), one of only six AAMC-accredited homeowner association management firms in South Carolina, recently announced several new hires and community management clients in Columbia, S.C. Staff and community details can be viewed online on the SCS website at http://www.trustscs.com.

SCS manages close to 180 communities across the Carolinas and is staffed with accredited professionals who work to maintain efficient communities ranging in size from small neighborhoods to large, master-planned developments like Lake Carolina, Wildewood and Cobblestone Park in the Midlands, the Reserve at Lake Keowee in the Upstate and Park West in the Charleston area. SCS has grown its portfolio steadily since its founding in 2000 by principals Chuck Munn and Larry Ridlehoover; the firm now employs 45 accredited professionals across North and South Carolina.

New SCS Communities in the Columbia, S.C. Area

Regatta Forest, a 75-lot community located in Irmo, S.C., joins the SCS family, along with Coatbridge, Windermere and Governor’s Hill.

Coatbridge is located in Blythewood, South Carolina and serves the award-winning Richland School District Two.

A gated community of 320 mostly custom-built homes, Windermere is interspersed with golf course easements and private neighborhood roads.

Governor’s Hill is located in the capital city of Columbia, South Carolina with 29 single-family lots situated on Gadsden and Laurel Streets, close to the Governor’s Mansion.

“Southern Community Services is excited about the opportunity to expand the communities it serves,” said Ken Tamsin, CEO of SCS. “The Columbia, S.C., market offers not only new construction communities, but also well established, distinguished clients as well.”

New SCS Hires in Columbia, S.C.

Stephanie “Stevie” Johnson is a new community association manager at SCS’ Midlands regional headquarters on Rice Bent Way, and Teresa Rignon joins the Lake Carolina team as an administrative assistant. Teresa has been in the customer service industry for over 20 years, was most recently with United Way and lives in Columbia, South Carolina, while serving on her HOA board.

“Our staff are the lifeblood of our organization,” notes Tamsin. “Our team has a drive to be the best, and we support their training and accreditation to ensure that our customers receive the most efficient, industry-leading community management services available in the Carolinas.”

Learn more about SCS and view staff bios at http://www.trustscs.com.

About Southern Community Services

Founded in 2000, Southern Community Services (SCS) specializes in the management of homeowner associations across the Carolinas, with a longstanding reputation as the leader in its industry. Staffed with accredited professionals who work diligently to accommodate the unique needs of each community, SCS provides turnkey solutions, state-of-the-art technology and decades of association management experience to boards, with senior-level involvement in every aspect of the business. Learn more about SCS at www.trustscs.com.

Media Contact: Meg Parker, Flock and Rally, 704-942-0742, meg@flockandrally.com

 

Southern Community Services Welcomes New Management To Park West

Southern Community Services Welcomes New Management to Park West

Kim Hurd, Emily Simpson bring vision, experience to new roles at Mount Pleasant community

Sept. 18, 2017 (Charleston, S.C.) – Southern Community Services (SCS), one of only six AAMC-accredited community association management firms in South Carolina, has named Kim Hurd general manager and Emily Simpson assistant general manager of Park West, a 1,700-acre master-planned community in Mount Pleasant.

“Both Kim and Emily are extremely talented and have an impressive amount of experience between them,” said Ken Tamsin, CEO of SCS. “We are greatly looking forward to seeing what they bring to the Park West community.”

General Manager Kim Hurd has been with Southern Community Services since 2015 as the community manager for Hamlin Plantation. She came to SCS with 25 years of experience in property and office management.

“I am very excited for the opportunity to be GM of Park West,” said Hurd. “The neighborhood is near and dear to me because that’s where I live. I was involved so many years ago working for the developer, and now for SCS as the manager. Park West is a wonderful community, and I am looking forward to working with the advisory board and the homeowners.”

Emily Simpson is currently a portfolio manager in the SCS North Charleston office. Simpson came to SCS two years ago with a bachelor’s degree in hospitality and tourism management from College of Charleston and experience in managing communities. Specifically, she has overseen maintenance and safety projects, maintained common areas, and worked with boards and communities on governance and other issues.

“I am thankful for the opportunity to continue to grow within SCS and become the assistant general manager of Park West,” said Simpson. “I began working at SCS two years ago as a front desk receptionist, and rapidly became a portfolio manager.  I am excited for this next step in my career to continue to expand my knowledge. I am looking forward to working with Kim Hurd and learning more about the Park West community.”

Park West focuses on preserving the natural environment, fostering a family-friendly lifestyle and making a meaningful difference in residents’ lives. This vision has been the controlling factor in the creation of each element of the Park West community.

SCS manages the HOA boards of nearly 180 communities across the Carolinas, from multi-tiered master-planned communities to small, single family neighborhoods. Learn more about SCS and view staff bios at http://www.trustscs.com.

About Southern Community Services

Founded in 2000, Southern Community Services (SCS) specializes in the management of homeowner associations across the Carolinas, with a longstanding reputation as the leader in its industry. Staffed with accredited professionals who work diligently to accommodate the unique needs of each community, SCS provides turnkey solutions, state-of-the-art technology and decades of association management experience to boards, with senior-level involvement in every aspect of the business. Learn more about SCS at www.trustscs.com.

 Media Contact: Meg Parker, Flock and Rally, 704-942-0742, meg@flockandrally.com

 

Park West Reveals Michael Hurd, Jr. Memorial Park And Playground

Park West Reveals Michael Hurd, Jr. Memorial Park and Playground

Aril 27, 2017 (Mount Pleasant, S.C.) – The Park West Homeowners Association revealed a brand new, state-of-the-art playground and park honoring Michael Hurd Jr. at a dedication ceremony and unveiling on Saturday, March 25 at the Park West community park in Mount Pleasant, S.C. Hurd, who passed away in August 2016, had served as the general manager of the Park West subdivision for Southern Community Services (SCS) since 2014 and was an integral member of the community there. SCS serves nearly 180 HOA boards in the Carolinas and has worked with Park West since 2000.

Park West Park and Playground Unveiled

Park West celebrated the official unveiling of the Michael Hurd, Jr. Memorial Park and Playground on Saturday, March 25, 2017 during a dedication ceremony. Hurd, who became the Park West general manager through SCS in 2014, had been working on a brand new park and playground for the Park West community for almost a year. It is a climber play set, including multiple slides, rock climber, swings and springer seat, spanning 3,455 square feet.

“Mike spent his career with SCS making great improvements to the Park West community. The impact he had on his residents is immeasurable,” explains current Park West general manager Jessica Shipman. “We are thrilled to have the opportunity to relive his happiness and honor his legacy by finishing out the playground project and hosting this benefit event.”

Donation Drive for Local Nonprofit Benefitting Abused and Neglected Children

Park West partnered with Windwood Farm Home for Children in Awendaw, S.C. for the dedication ceremony. Established as a private nonprofit in 1985, Windwood Farm provides help, hope, and healing through behavioral, educational, and therapeutic interventions which enhance social functioning and well-being, ensures safety, and works to achieve positive permanency for children and families in the community.

Guests and community members compiled eight boxes’ worth of donated supplies, toiletries and games for the local nonprofit organization.

“At the dedication ceremony, many individuals made donations of money, gift cards, household items, and personal needs supplies for distribution to families who are struggling to provide a safe and nurturing home to their children,” explains Windwood Farm director Debbie McKelvey. “Having partners in large neighborhoods who are willing to respond to a call to action when our needs are great makes an incredibly positive impact.”

 About Park West

Park West is a master planned development located in Mount Pleasant, S.C. minutes from downtown Charleston in South Carolina’s Lowcountry. With approximately 3,000 properties and roughly 7,500 residents, the 1700-acre Park West is the size of a small town, divided into 32 neighborhoods with 7 miles of bike and pedestrian paths, and acres of marsh and wetlands, as well as pools, tennis and volleyball courts, oyster tables and more.

About Southern Community Services

Founded in 2000, Southern Community Services (SCS) specializes in the management of homeowner associations across the Carolinas, with a longstanding reputation as the leader in its industry. Staffed with accredited professionals who work diligently to accommodate the unique needs of each community, SCS provides turnkey solutions, state-of-the-art technology and decades of association management experience to boards, with senior-level involvement in every aspect of the business. Learn more about SCS at www.TrustSCS.com.

Media Contact: Rachel Carter, Flock and Rally, 443-801-1171, Rachel@flockandrally.com

Southern Community Services Acquires Three New Homeowner Association Management Clients In Columbia, S.C. Area

Southern Community Services Acquires Three New Homeowner Association Management Clients in Columbia, S.C. Area

March 13, 2017 (Columbia, S.C.) – Southern Community Services, one of only six AAMC-accredited community association management firms in S.C., has added three new Columbia area communities to its growing client list. Southern Community Services (SCS) serves the HOA boards of nearly 180 communities across the Carolinas, from multi-tiered master-planned communities to small, single family neighborhoods. Details on the firm as well as secure, 24-7 online payment and document portals for homeowners can be found at http://www.TrustSCS.com.

Canal Place, located in Downtown Columbia, offers 110 single-family, detached homes. Right off of Park Street in Historic Earlewood, the community is minutes from the Vista and consists primarily of two-story homes ranging from 1,400 to 1,800 square feet. Each home will have a craftsman-style charm and amenities like a community pool and cabana.

Timberland Place is a well-established community in Lexington with a pool and a playground.  The Richland County School District One school choices and neighborhood charm create the foundation for family-friendly homes that range from 1,500 to 2,800 square feet. The community is conveniently located right by I-20 and I-26, which is just a short drive to get to other shopping, dining and recreational attractions.

“I am thrilled to be a part of the growth with SCS. My two newest clients are perfect examples of the diversity within our communities, and one of the reasons I enjoy being a community association manager with the company,” says SCS team member Victoria Robinson. “SCS specializes in accommodating the varying needs of our customers by remaining a forward-thinking organization with a very hands-on approach. Each community is unique and should be treated as such.”

Right by Columbiana Mall in Harbison, Bower Parkway has both residential and commercial condos. Offering up to 26 spaces total, these locations are perfect for upscale retail and living opportunities.

“It is a pleasure to watch SCS expand in the Carolinas,” notes SCS Vice President Mary Helen Settle. “Our home office is in Columbia, S.C., and we are thrilled for the opportunity to work with more neighborhoods, their owners and boards of directors to maximize the benefits of community association living.”

About Southern Community Services

Founded in 2000, Southern Community Services (SCS) specializes in the management of homeowner associations across the Carolinas, with a longstanding reputation as the leader in its industry. Staffed with accredited professionals who work diligently to accommodate the unique needs of each community, SCS provides turnkey solutions, state-of-the-art technology and decades of association management experience to boards, with senior-level involvement in every aspect of the business. Learn more about SCS at www.TrustSCS.com.

Southern Community Services Acquires Four New Homeowner Association Management Clients In Charleston, S.C., Area

Southern Community Services Acquires Four New Homeowner Association Management Clients in Charleston, S.C., Area

Feb. 27, 2017 (Charleston, S.C.) – Southern Community Services, one of only six AAMC-accredited community association management firms in S.C., has added four new Charleston area communities to its growing client list. Southern Community Services (SCS) serves the HOA boards of nearly 170 communities across the Carolinas, from multi-tiered master-planned communities to small, single family neighborhoods. Details on the firm as well as secure, 24-7 online payment and document portals for homeowners can be found at www.TrustSCS.com.

Royal Palms, a luxury-level development with easy access to shopping, award-winning schools and beautiful beaches, recently retained SCS for its community management services. Located in Mount Pleasant, the community offers 72 townhomes ranging from 1,785 square feet to 2,449 square feet, as well as more than 2 acres’ worth of amenities.
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Parkers Landing is part of the Rivertowne Country Club and also is located in Mount Pleasant. Close to downtown Charleston, the community provides homeowners with an 18-hole golf course and an amenity center with pool and tennis activities.

“I manage a wide variety of communities in the Charleston area and am excited about these additions to our portfolio,” says SCS community manager Emily Simpson, who has been with SCS for nearly two years. “Royal Palms is a tight-knit community, and I cannot wait to get to know the homeowners and board members.”

The Village at Park West is located in the successful, master planned Park West community. The homes are modeled after historic Charleston architecture and feature double porches and grand entrances. The properties can range up to 3,000 square feet and include the full array of Park West amenities.

Eagle Landing is located in North Charleston right across from SCS’ Lowcountry office on Rivers Avenue. The community has approximately 278 homes; SCS’ accredited professionals are excited about the opportunity to manage and improve the homeowners association.

“Our company is committed to growing responsibly, and part of doing that is our insistence that our community managers be accredited by the Community Associations Institute,” notes Ken Tamsin, CEO of SCS. “We look forward to serving these new communities with the high level of professionalism and skill that our clients have come to expect.”

About Southern Community Services

Founded in 2000, Southern Community Services (SCS) specializes in the management of homeowner associations across the Carolinas, with a longstanding reputation as the leader in its industry. Staffed with accredited professionals who work diligently to accommodate the unique needs of each community, SCS provides turnkey solutions, state-of-the-art technology and decades of association management experience to boards, with senior-level involvement in every aspect of the business. Learn more about SCS at www.TrustSCS.com.

Peter Oh Joins Southern Community Services’ HOA Management Team As Staff Accountant

Peter Oh Joins Southern Community Services’ HOA Management Team as Staff Accountant

Feb. 8, 2017 (Columbia, S.C.) – Seung Jae “Peter” Oh joined the Southern Community Services team as a staff accountant in the company’s corporate office in downtown Columbia, S.C. Southern Community Services (SCS), one of only six AAMC-accredited community management firms in S.C., serves nearly 190 communities across the Carolinas, from multi-tiered master-planned communities to small, single family neighborhoods.

Oh holds a B.S. in Computer Science and M.S. in Accountancy from the Moore School of Business at the University of South Carolina. He also has several years of staff accountancy with companies including Dong K. Noh Inc. – DBA Dong K. Noh CPA and A. Dowl Knight & Company, PC in Columbia, S.C. Oh’s professional experience and enthusiasm for the position make him well-equipped for the position.

“Peter is a very good addition to the accounting team in our operations group at Rice Creek,” says Ken Tamsin, CEO of SCS. “He comes to the table with the solid experience that our HOA boards have come to expect from our firm. We are thrilled with Peter’s decision to join the SCS family.”

SCS is entering its 17th year of providing professional business, governance, and community management services to homeowner association boards in communities of all sizes. Find out more at www.trustscs.com.

About Southern Community Services
Founded in 2000, Southern Community Services (SCS) specializes in the management of homeowner associations across the Carolinas, with a longstanding reputation as the leader in its industry. Staffed with accredited professionals who work diligently to accommodate the unique needs of each community, SCS provides turnkey solutions, state-of-the-art technology and decades of association management experience to boards, with senior-level involvement in every aspect of the business. Learn more about SCS at www.trustscs.com.

 

Jessica Shipman Of Southern Community Services Named Park West Community General Manager

Jessica Shipman of Southern Community Services Named Park West Community General Manager

November 9, 2016 (Columbia, S.C.) – Jessica Shipman of South Community Services (SCS), the Carolinas’ leading homeowner association management firm, has been named General Manager of Park West, a community managed by SCS in Mt. Pleasant, S.C. with 29 distinctive neighborhoods. Shipman is an accredited Certified Manager of Community Associations (CMCA) as well as Association Management Specialist (AMS) through Community Associations Institute (CAI).

Shipman joined the SCS team earlier this year as Charleston portfolio manager. She is a graduate of George Mason University and has more than 12 years of large-scale community association management experience. Prior to SCS, Shipman served as executive director of Sun City Carolina Lakes, a Del Webb community.

As the general manager, Shipman looks forward to getting to know the Park West residents and developing new processes both internally and externally for the office to continue delivering efficient customer service.

Park West has provided a diverse living environment for residents for nearly 20 years.  “What I like are the sub neighborhoods and associations,” notes Shipman. “The neighborhoods vary in structure and architecture. Each neighborhood has its own character – it’s not all the same home. I appreciate the diversity, as well as the green spaces that have been left in the community.”

Reporting to Shipman in the Park West office is Victoria McDonald, Neighborhood Association Manager; Keri Howell, ARB Coordinator; and Mary Fraser, Customer Service Administrator.

About Southern Community Services

Founded in 2000, Southern Community Services (SCS) specializes in the management of homeowner associations across the Carolinas, with a longstanding reputation as the leader in its industry. Staffed with accredited professionals who work diligently to accommodate the unique needs of each community, SCS provides turnkey solutions, state-of-the-art technology and decades of association management experience to boards, with senior-level involvement in every aspect of the business. Learn more about SCS at www.trustscs.com.

Press: The 1000-Year Flood

Press: The 1000-Year Flood

When torrential rains drenched South Carolina community associations in October, board members and managers prepared for the worst and rallied to save dams before they breached. The recovery will be long and complicated.

By Pamela Babcock : Reprinted with permission from CAI’s Common Ground TM magazine, March/April 2016

Steven E. Wagner, CMCA, vice president of operations for Southern Community Services, AAMC, and a lakefront homeowner in WildeWood I–IV Homeowners Association near Columbia, S.C., will never forget the early morning emergency texts that warned residents about the potential for flooding after a days-long deluge in the Palmetto state in early October.

The community’s three dams were showing signs of damage but hadn’t ruptured. Then came a frantic message from a landscape architect who had a commercial building downstream: “STEVE: YOU NEED TO GO TO BEAVER DAM ASAP. IT’S ABOUT TO BREACH.”

Wagner jumped into his Chevy Tahoe and raced to the dam. He found a sinkhole caused by erosion that had grown from the size of a small car to about 35 feet wide and 15 feet deep. Before long, CNN was on site and helicopters buzzed overhead.

“We’d never experienced anything like this,” Wagner recalls. “They were calling this the 1,000-year storm.”

About 20 inches of rain were dumped on the state over a few days, causing unprecedented flooding and a series of dam breaches that damaged or destroyed hundreds of homes and resulted in more than a dozen deaths.

According to the South Carolina Department of Health & Environmental Control (DHEC), a total of 32 dams failed during the historic event. Columbia and areas northeast of the state capital experienced the worst damage. Five dams breached in the Gills Creek Watershed, a network of about 100 manmade lakes and 70 miles of streams in the Columbia area. Three of those breaks were in community associations: Cary Lake, Upper Rockyford Lake and Lower Rockyford Lake. The dams on Semmes Lake at Fort Jackson, a U.S. Army base, and Pinewood Lake, which is privately owned, also failed in the watershed.

WildeWood, a community of about 950 single-family homes, got off relatively easy compared to others. About 10 homes had minor basement flooding, and a section of a major road into the community was washed out.

Though none of WildeWood’s dams collapsed, water was flowing over them. Beaver Dam was most at risk of failure and may have breached if homeowners on the lake hadn’t pitched in to save it.

Jim Lehman, an attorney for Nelson Mullins law firm and a board member of Beaver Dam Lake Homeowners Association in WildeWood, and other board members of the 30-home association decided to do whatever they could to keep the dam intact.

In the middle of the storm, Lehman paddled his kayak onto the lake to try to remove debris so water levels would continue to lower.

“We were struggling to keep the dam from failing. It was very precarious and had the prospect of causing damage to people living in homes downstream,” he says.

When the sinkhole emerged, he and other board members, homeowners and a local landscaper feverishly began sandbagging. Community association leaders also contacted state and local officials. A team that included representatives from DHEC, South Carolina Electric & Gas (SCE&G), the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and others spent 48 hours erecting a massive 60-foot high temporary metal coffer stabilized with rock to keep the rushing water from damaging the dam.

Meanwhile, Wagner and others worked to get food donations from area pizza and sandwich shops to help feed the folks working on the dam.

“It was pretty neat how the community chipped in and how brave everyone was during all of this,” he says.

Wagner says communication with WildeWood residents was key throughout the storm, particularly since information on the local news and that coming from state officials wasn’t always accurate. Southern Community Services keeps updated e-mail and text contacts for residents and was able to push the latest updates directly from the community.

READY FOR THE RAINS

As the severe rains fell, community association leaders around the state prepared for the worst.

Harbison Community Association, which is north of downtown Columbia and includes more than 2,300-single family homes, 13 large apartment complexes and about 200 businesses, was one of many that responded to emergency alerts to lower their dam levels. The community was relatively unscathed and its two dams held up fine, says Executive Director Dave Grove.

The association, founded in 1974, has two large lakes that are about 40 years old and have earthen dams that are just over 20 feet high. They’re considered “high hazard” dams because of the amount of water that backs up.

DHEC inspects the dams each year, but the association relies on its own emergency action plan to ensure it’s up to date with all federal and state regulations. The emergency plans, which were just updated this past June, outline a series of steps to take in the event of potential failures as well as detailed protocols for notifying residents who live downstream in other communities.

Thankfully, Harbison didn’t have to follow its emergency notification protocols.

“We have two lakes that could be a huge liability,” Grove says. “Both lakes are surrounded by various subdivisions. And if they ever failed, it would be a huge problem.”

Elsewhere, DeBordieu Colony Community Association, a 2,700-acre oceanfront golf community in Georgetown, also fared pretty well. Minor damage and flooded roads made travel difficult for several days, and about 20 of the community’s 853 mostly single-family homes received just over a foot of water in their basements.

Despite the association’s efforts to sandbag Luvan Boulevard, one of its main roads, the bank was partially washed out. According to Blanche Brown, CMCA, AMS, general manager, the association will pay about $35,000 to repair the road.

There was significant beach erosion too, but Brown is convinced it would’ve been worse if the association hadn’t completed a $10 million beach restoration project this past April. Homeowners living on the mile-and-a-half stretch of sand footed the hefty bill.

Hilton Head Island Plantation Property Owners Association was largely spared the brunt of the storm too, but it prepared “like we were going to be at the center of the bull’s-eye,” says T. Peter Kristian, CMCA, LSM, PCAM, general manager and a CAI past president.

The community lowered about 90 lagoons to provide more room for storm-water and checked and cleaned ditches so water could run freely to drains and holding areas before getting channeled to open waters. Association vehicle fuel tanks were topped off, and residents were advised to stock up on food, essential medications and to stay off the roads.

Unfortunately, the association couldn’t do anything to prevent storm and wind-driven high tides from wiping out all the sand on Pine Island Beach, a mile-long amenity. The community has recently replaced sand there twice at a cost of $20,000 each time.

“It’s extremely frustrating, but if it breaches, it makes that area into a total island,” Kristian notes.

The association recently contacted the Town of Hilton Head to see if it could be part of the town’s beach renourishment program and get funding or support.

THE LONG RECOVERY

Today, many of the communities with the worst damage are struggling to get back on their feet and trying to figure out how to pay for repairs.

In WildeWood, the master association’s dams are owned and operated by each lakefront property owners subassociation. Wagner says preliminary estimates to repair the dam he lives on, WildeWood Dam IV, are $52,000, which isn’t too much compared to other dams in the state.

Representatives at a number of community associations where dams failed didn’t respond to requests to be interviewed for this story. Erich Miarka, program coordinator of the Gills Creek Watershed Association, a nonprofit dedicated to restoring and protecting waterways, says he’s heard estimates that rebuilding the Cary Lake Homeowner’s Association dam and replacing the road that used to be on top of it will cost more than $2 million.

“There are homeowners on the other side of the dam who don’t have public access to their homes right now. They’re having to get in and out of their properties by driving through someone’s backyard,” says Miarka.

Unfortunately, associations with privately owned and operated dams will be footing repair bills themselves. The county, state and the Federal Emergency Management Agency won’t pay to help.

“Individuals are going to have to pay for this, thus, it’s going to prolong the repairs for a very long time,” says Wagner. “In some cases, the damage is so significant, communities will need to seek financial assistance to complete the repairs. It’s a huge financial issue.”

Legislation pending in the statehouse would call for the state or counties to lend money to homeowners for dam repairs and then recoup the debt through tax bills over an extended period of time, such as a 15-year period.

Many community associations and their homeowners also are in a holding pattern as the state finalizes the rebuilding permitting process.

South Carolina officials have doubled DHEC’s budget for the next fiscal year, and the agency has announced that it will bring its dam safety program in line with national best practices.

Miarka says the state’s dam and reservoir program has been underfunded and understaffed for years.

“I think we ranked 47 in the nation in how much we spent on our dam and reservoir safety program. It’s been paltry,” he says. “There definitely weren’t enough inspections going on, and I think that probably the standards needed to be increased.”

Among other things, DHEC has proposed adding seven full-time staffers who will work to assess the dam safety program and announced plans to conduct a complete engineering review and assessment of the Gills Creek Watershed.

Miarka believes dams need to be rebuilt with stronger materials, particularly because the region’s sandy soil makes erosion likely. He thinks they also should have larger emergency spillways.

“In all of the dam failures that we saw in this flood event, the emergency spillways weren’t large enough to handle this size storm and were overwhelmed,” he says.

The recovery is likely to be slowed too by the lawsuits that are unfolding. Some dam owners and operators (including community associations), insurance companies, SCE&G and others are being sued for negligence.

“There’s litigation accumulating, and that’s when it gets ugly,” Wagner says.

Miarka isn’t sure how many lawsuits have been filed but says that in the watershed he’s heard of associations suing other associations and association residents suing nearby dam owners.

Several dozen residents of King’s Grant Home Owners Association are suing Fort Jackson for damages they suffered after the dam on Semmes Lake failed. Joseph Preston “Pete” Strom Jr., a Columbia attorney representing the residents, didn’t respond to a request to be interviewed for this story, but according to his firm’s website, he’s filed a notice of claim under the Federal Tort Claims Act. The government has six months to respond. It may accept liability or require the firm to file suit.

Pamela Babcock is a freelance writer in the New York City area.

© 2016 Community Associations Institute. Further reproduction and distribution is prohibited without written consent. For reprints, go to www.caionline.org/reprints

New CEO Ken Tamsin Joins Southern Community Services’ Homeowner Association Management Team

New CEO Ken Tamsin Joins Southern Community Services’ Homeowner Association Management Team

 

May 16, 2016 (Columbia, S.C.) – Southern Community Services (SCS), a homeowner association management firm serving more than 160 communities across the Carolinas, including I’On, Park West and Hamlin Plantation in Charleston, Lake Carolina in Columbia and Foxwood Hills in the Upstate, has welcomed a new CEO, Ken Tamsin, PCAM®, CMCA®, AMS®, to the executive team.

Tamsin most recently served as the onsite community manager at The Reserve at Lake Keowee in the Upstate, after having worked for SCS in the Midlands as the community manager at Lake Carolina. Prior to becoming involved in homeowner association management, Tamsin worked in the banking industry in Massachusetts. He is a graduate of the New England School of Banking at Williams College, and he attended Southern Connecticut State University, Manchester Community College, the University of Massachusetts and Slippery Rock State University in Pennsylvania.

SCS will continue to be directed by owners Larry Ridlehoover, CMCA®, AMS®, PCAM®, president and co-principal, and Chuck Munn, vice president and co-principal. The executive team is rounded out by Steven Wagner, CMCA®, vice president of operations and finance; Mary Helen Settle, CMCA®, AMS®, PCAM®, vice president, Upstate region; and Jessica Turner, CMCA®, AMS®, vice president, Charleston region.

“Ken was one of the first candidates to come to mind when we began our search process for a chief executive officer,” notes Ridlehoover. “When he worked for SCS previously, he was a very diligent, hard-working community manager who was highly respected by his staff and colleagues as well as by the HOA board members and residents he served. We are so pleased that a person of such integrity is taking the helm of our leadership team.”

“I am pleased to be a part of such an outstanding organization, whose mission and core values mirror my own,” notes Tamsin. “I look forward to applying my ‘servant leadership’ philosophy to the benefit of the members of the SCS team and the communities that they support.”

About Southern Community Services (SCS)

Southern Community Services (SCS) has specialized in the management of homeowners associations throughout the Carolinas and beyond since the year 2000. Awarded the prestigious Accredited Association Management Company (AAMC) designation by the Community Associations Institute (CAI), SCS has regional offices in Columbia, Spartanburg and Mount Pleasant, S.C., and currently serves more than 160 communities, from multi-tiered master-planned communities to small, single family neighborhoods. Staffed with accredited professionals who work diligently to accommodate the unique needs of each community, SCS provides turnkey solutions, state-of-the-art technology and decades of association management experience to HOA boards, with senior-level involvement in every aspect of the business. Learn more at http://www.TrustSCS.com.

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