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THE TRENDY OLD TOWN AREA IS GETTING A LITTLE BIGGER. HERE’S WHAT TO EXPECT.

Just a few months ago, the buzz among the employees at Downtown Deli was palpable. Some kind of big meeting was coming up. But no one knew what it involved, why the staff was being kept in the dark, and why they were going to the old Piggly Wiggly building, of all places.

Deputy Chief Joseph Manning has been promoted to police chief, according to Bluffton town manager Marc Orlando.

“Maj. Manning has demonstrated his ability to lead our police department,” Orlando said. “His unrelenting work during Hurricane Matthew, his day-to-day ability to foster and support our community policing program, along with his extensive law enforcement experience and education, make Maj. Manning a natural and obvious choice to move into the role as our next police chief.”

Auxiliary BlufftonAmerican Legion Auxiliary Bluffton Unit 205 is working with the town of Bluffton to build a veterans memorial park in Old Town. The park will pay tribute to veterans from all branches of service who served in all wars.

Bluffton Town Council voted in June to approve a plan to build a 365- home neighborhood on roughly 232 acres near the intersection of New Riverside Drive and Old Palmetto Bluff Roads — squarely between May River High School and the headwaters of the May River.

The planned private gated community will be built in phases, with construction starting later this year, according to town documents. A specific builder for the homes has not been identified.

Taking stock of Bluffton’s surging growth.

In those heady days before the economic collapse of 2008, it was a phrase you’d read in every newspaper, magazine and real estate pamphlet in town: Bluffton is Booming.

The town of Bluffton is seeking applicants for its Neighborhood Assistance Program, which offers repairs to homes and properties of low- to moderate-income residents. This program, which is operated through the town of Bluffton’s Affordable Housing Committee, offers assistance with repairs for projects such as leaking roofs, unstable or unsafe floors, failing septic tanks, inaccessible private roads, removing broken or unwanted items from a resident’s property, removing unsafe structures from a resident’s property, ensuring local emergency services have an official address to a resident’s property and assisting in obtaining proper paperwork for heirs’ property.

Bluffton Friendly CityIn a recent report, Palmetto Promise Institute unveiled the most enterprise-friendly cities in the state. Topping the list is the town of Bluffton. Buoyed by an impressive decadal population growth, healthy job growth and a low business tax burden, Bluffton scored a total of 81.07 points out of a possible 100 points. Mauldin, Greer, Simpsonville and Fountain Inn round out the top five, respectively.

BacheloretteHilton Head Island and Bluffton were both put on a national stage recently. The Weather Channel was on location on the first day of spring, March 20, and more than 9 million viewers tuned in. The following week, reality show “The Bachelorette” came to town and filmed an upcoming episode on the island and in Bluffton. The national spotlight returned once again as the RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing took place April 10-16 at Harbour Town Golf Links. The PGA Tour tournament was televised by The Golf Channel and CBS.

Students at Bluffton High School can soon begin earning college credits at the University of South Carolina Beaufort through a new partnership between the two schools. A memorandum of agreement between the Beaufort County School District and the university will allow Bluffton High students to take courses from USCB professors beginning with the 2017-18 academic year. There will be no cost to students.

historic propertyIn a unanimous vote at its March 14 meeting, Bluffton Town Council authorized the town manager to execute a purchase and an operating agreement for the historic property located at 111 Calhoun St. The vote followed another unanimous vote by Beaufort County Council on March 13 to assist the town in funding the purchase through its Rural and Critical Lands Preservation Program.