Before moving into the full meeting, Mayor Bill Holtz took a moment to honor a very special guest to the council meeting: Mrs. Angela Leccese, known on the island as Miss Lil, celebrated her 103rd birthday this past February 19, and the Council voted unanimously to declare Tuesday, February 28, as “Miss Lil” Day on Seabrook Island. As part of the celebration, the council, along with Miss Lil’s daughter and friends, enjoyed a delicious birthday carrot cake.
Business license revenue is up
Mayor Holtz stated that while the financial statement for the month ending on January 31, 2012, show revenues as falling approximately $22,000 below budget, there are several large checks and deposits to the town that have not been added in yet and will show up in next month’s budget statement. “We had a nice, comfortable year last year,” said the mayor. He also noted that the purchase of business licenses is also up from last year.
Leash law needs stronger enforcement
John Trimberger, a part-time resident who has been coming to the island since 1977, gave a brief presentation to the council, asking that the dog leash law on the beach be more strictly enforced. Trimberger cited two recent examples in which he and his wife were confronted by off leash dogs on the beach outside of the designated areas. Having lived through a traumatizing experience as a child, Trimberger’s wife has a very real fear of dogs and it is difficult for her to be around them. In the first incident, a visitor with an off-leash dog stated that her real estate agent said dogs could be off leash anytime on the beach, but leashed her dog on request. In the second incident, a couple walked away with their dog and made a very rude gesture to the Trimbergers as they left.
As president of the island Sea Dog association, Councilman Jerry Cummin apologized to Trimberger and said that the Sea Dogs make every effort to avoid problems like that. “The Sea Dogs are passionate about enforcing the leash law because they want to keep this privilege. They don’t abuse it and they don’t want others to abuse it,” said Cummin.
As a solution, Mayor Holtz stated that the town code enforcement officers will begin patroling the beach twice a week on an arbitrary basis. First time off-leash offenders will be warned and the second offense will result in a $500 ticket. “We need to tighten up on the rules and we’ll take the complaints that go with it,” said Holtz.
Town approves additional funding for Greenway consultant
After reporting that representatives from Kiawah and Seabrook would be attending a Council of Governments presentation on land use, planning and transportation on Friday, March 2, Councilman Sam Reed requested that the council approve an additional $5,000 to support the efforts of Johns Island Greenway consultant, Maurice Washington.
“We’re being asked to kick in one more time to keep the momentum going,” said Reed. “We’ve come a long way.”
Washington has developed a lot of positive thinking regarding the Greenway on Johns Island, Reed reported, and he has consistently been working with members of the Department of Transportation, legislators, the Infrastructure Bank, the LPA Group, and mayors Summey and Riley. Reed suggested that the sum could be given in $1,000 increments over five months, and that the Seabrook Island Property Owners Association has indicated that they will match the town’s contributions. Additionally, if it is found that the funding is not needed, it will be reimbursed to the town. Reed also noted that Kiawah and the Kiawah Island Community Association would also be donating the same amount.
“In the next month or so, we’ll know the fate of 526,” said Reed. “After that these issues will subside and require less attention.”
The council voted unanimously to make donations of $1,000 a month over the course of five months for the consultant fund, with the contingency that they could later vote to discontinue payments.
Seabrook to place two information kiosks at Bohicket Marina
Following discussions with the Bohicket Marina, Community Relations Committee Chair Terrence Ahearn announced that they have a solid design plan for two information kiosks to be placed on both ends of Bohicket Marina – one near the shops and the other near the boat area. The cost of constructing each kiosk is approximately $3350, and with the cost of designing signage for both kiosks, Ahearn requested that the town approve an expenditure of no more than $10,000 for the project. The kiosks will include a welcoming statement and the town website, as well as a permanent map of the islands. Brochures about Seabrook will be refilled by marina employees. The cost of the brochures was not included in the estimate.
Town Administrator Randy Pierce recommended that the kiosk plans go through the Planning Commission first, as the structures might require a change in the town sign ordinance, and the council approved. The council voted unanimously to approve the expenditure of no more than $10,000, contingent on the approval of the Planning Commission. Holtz noted that the cost could come out of Accomodations Tax funds.
Councilman Ahearn also noted that the Visibility Committee is in discussions with Freshfields to sponsor the movie nights held on the Village Green during the summer months. Other visibility efforts include providing information brochures about Seabrook Island at one of the tents to be set up during the PGA, and possibly providing PGA visitors with the opportunity to register for a one-day amenity pass so they can visit Seabrook Island during their stay. Lastly, Ahearn stated that Warren Kimball has been appointed to chair the Sense of Place Committee.
Real Estate section rearranged on website
Councilman Jerry Cummin reported that the real estate section of the town website has been rearranged as per council request, and keyword usage has been increased across the board in order to increase the website’s visibility.
Seabrook preparing for disaster – simulation planned for June 6
Before giving the floor to Councilman Ronald Ciancio, Cummin also reported that the island Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) is conducting ham radio tests and working with antennas to find the best means of communicating quickly across distances following a disaster.
Councilman Ciancio then reported that the Public Safety Committee is working with Charleston County to coordinate a disaster activity for June 6. The committee has requested that Scott Cave of Atlantic Business Continuity, the author of the town’s disaster preparedness plan, conduct the preliminary planning, facilitating, and summary report of the activity. The cost of Cave’s services will be $2,970, and Ciancio requested that the town approve an expenditure of no more than $3,000. Council approved unanimously.
Symphony may play town’s 25th anniversary celebration
Councilman Ciancio has also been working diligently on the plans for the town’s 25th anniversary celebration. The date for the party has been set for October 20, with a rain date of October 21. Plans are being made for five to six local restaurants to supply finger foods during the event, which is scheduled to take place at the Lake House. Ciancio noted that approximately 900 people attended the town’s 10th anniversary and they should expect at least that many for this celebration. The event is set to start at 2 p.m. with speeches by the mayor and local dignitaries at 6 p.m. and a concert by the Charleston Symphony Orchestra (CSO) at 7 p.m.
While Ciancio and the planning committee are still working out the budget, Ciancio stated that there is a question over the format of the CSO that needs to be resolved soon so they can book the symphony for the event. For the full orchestra, Ciancio noted that the cost will between $25,000 and $30,000. For a 12 piece brass ensemble the cost would be $13,000 to $14,000, and for a smaller mixed ensemble, the cost would be $11,000 to $12,000. If the town goes with the full orchestra, they would also need an additional power supply at the Lake House, which will cost approximately $7,000.
“I won’t be around for the 50th anniversary, so I’d like to see the whole orchestra for the 25th,” smiled Councilman Cummin. The rest of the council agreed and the mayor said Ciancio could tell the CSO that they will be considering the full orchestra for that date.
Also regarding the 25th anniversary, Cummin stated that a contest to design the town’s 25th anniversary logo will be announced in the March edition of the Seabrooker. The logo will be displayed on shirts, buttons, hats, and other memorabilia during the event.
Town Judge reappointed
Mayor Holtz motioned that Dennis E. O’Neill be reappointed as Judge for a four year term to expire March 31, 2016. Council approved unanimously.
Repairing the bike path
Town Administrator Pierce stated that the construction company that made the repairs to the bike path along the edge of the causeway would come back and repair the section that was left ragged after a recent patch. He is currently in discussions on the best approach to the repair, with the ultimate goal of making it clean and consistent with the surrounding area. Additionally, two low spots in the path located near the town hall will be raised and repaired so that water will no longer collect in them.
Pierce also stated that he and John Scofield have been attending meetings on the parking situation during the PGA, and he has contacted a traffic consultant with Charleston County to take a look at some of the proposed traffic plans. The town is also requesting two revisions to a contract with the PGA, one regarding the amount set aside for damages (the PGA offered $10,000 in cash that would be given back by the town if not used, and the town is requesting instead that the put up a $40,000 bond) and the other regarding language that states that disputes currently will be adjudicated in Florida. They are requesting that the location be moved to Charleston, and that an arbitration clause be added so that court may be avoided if possible.
“There will be a lot of traffic coming this way,” said Pierce. The mayor agreed, stating, “It will be a very interesting week, to say the least.”
Wastewater Treatment Project kicks off
Utility Chairman Jeff Bostock reported that, assuming they have all the date they need regarding permits and bonds, they will probably get the letter to proceed with the wastewater treatment project on the island that week. A complete schedule should be available from the engineer by the first week of April, and the project will hopefully be complete by the first week in December. Bostock noted that there should be no noticeable disconnects of service during the project as far as the town is concerned. Lastly, he noted that the negotiations between Kiawah and Kiawah Development Partners regarding the sale of the utility are no longer taking place as both parties are too far apart on the pricing.
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