Second reading: ordinance 2010-1, annexation of the roundabout
The annexation of the Freshfields roundabout was approved unanimously.
Boy Scouts of America proclamation
Mayor Wert read a proclamation, declaring February 8, 2010, at Boy Scouts Centennial Celebration Day. “I encourage all citizens to recognize with me the contributions of the Boy Scouts to this great nation,” said Mayor Wert.
First reading: ordinance 2010-2, fencing amendments
“This has been approved by the Planning Commission and changes the current language in several places,” said Town Administrator Tumiko Rucker. McHugh asked about the background, to which Town Attorney Dennis Rhodes replied that the issue came up in relation to a property where the ornaments on the top of a gate were more than five feet tall. The amendments to the ordinance clarify the definition of a “fence”, which includes hedges as well as a more specific definition of height, which includes any ornamentation in the height limit of five feet for a fence. Council approved the ordinance unanimously. A public hearing on the ordinance will be held at 1:45pm, March 2, 2010, just before the next Town Council meeting.
SATAX Committee Appointments
Mayor Wert read through the Town’s recommendations for State ATAX committee members. This year, the Council nominated the following members: Roger Warren, President of the Kiawah Island Golf Resort; Gail Vandall, Beachwalker Rentals; Pam Harrington, Harrington Exclusives and Phillip Tumminia, ResortQuest were nominated for the Hospitality Industry, Bill Blizard of the Kiawah Arts Council was nominated as the Cultural Interest Representative, and Diana Permar and Armand Glassman were nominated as the At-large Representatives.
FY 2010-2011 Budget Calendar
This is not nearly as intricate or involved as the new federal budget,” the Mayor smiled, noting that the actual budget for the Town of Kiawah will only be about 20 pages long. The Council approved first reading of the 2010-2011 budget calendar, which lists date goals for the Town’s finance department to ensure responsibilities are completed on time. Council approved the budget calendar unanimously.
Parkway, maintenance agreement – the Greenery
“Hallelujah, the bike path was opened on January 22, 2010,” Councilman Steve Orban announced. The landscaping is about 90% complete, though there is still some work left to do due to the rain and cold weather. As the landscaping company, The Greenery of Charleston, gave an 18 month warranty on all of the plants installed, Orban suggested that it might be a good idea for the Town to negotiate a contract with The Greenery for the same length of time. “In our opinion, with the amount spent on landscaping, it would be good to negotiate a contract to maintain the Kiawah Island Parkway and Bikepath for the warranty period, as well as the roundabout,” said Orban, noting that the Town would determine whether or not they would go out for bids or renegotiate with The Greenery following the contracted time period. This motion would authorize the Town to negotiate a contract not to exceed $39,420 per year, in addition to unit price for mulching ($32/cubic yard). Council approved the authorization to negotiate a contract with The Greenery unanimously.
Beach franchise agreement renewal – Night Heron Park
Town Administrator Tumiko Rucker reported that the current beach franchise agreement with Night Heron Park expires at the end of February, and on receipt of a letter of intent from Kiawah Golf Resort, requesting the extension, suggested that the Town extend the contract through February 28, 2011. Received Council approved unanimously.
Update from the Arts Council
Councilman Charles Lipuma reported that January was a busy year for the Arts Council, with an equally busy February already lined up. All of the January events were well attended, and the seven events in February include the Andrew Thielen Big Band event at the East beach Conference Center, and the Amore Vini presentation on February 12 with a wine and cheese discussion while listening to Yurik Bekker lead a string performance.
“This is amazing, we cut your budget and you have even more events,” smiled Councilman Orban. “Well, what we do is take $5,000 from each council member …” Lipuma joked, then noted that, “We do have an excellent Arts Council which reaches out to performers, and the performers are very open and easy to work with.”
Parkway update and Public Safety
Councilman Orban reported on a few facts that he learned from Joe Croughwell during last month’s Public Safety meeting: In 2008, there were 1.8 million visitors to Kiawah Island and in 2009, there were 1.6 million; In 2008, there were 12 deer accidents on the island, compared to 6 in 2009; Noise complaints in 2009 were down to 11 from a reported 13 in 2008; covenant violations were down to 2400 in 2009, compared to 2800 in 2008; and KICA security reported that they responded to 21,700 calls in 2009. Orban noted that the Committee discussed who the residents of Kiawah Island should call in case of an emergency and all agreed that the protocol is to call 911 for any emergency. Orban also noted that, on speaking with Captain Brady, the new unified 911 system for Charleston County will not be up and working until April of this year as they still have some glitches to work out.
Councilman McHugh reported that the Environmental Committee met with Dr. Tim Kana of Coastal Science and Engineering concerning the renourishment of Kiawah’s beach. “I found the results to be fascinating and it was amazing to see a plan come together and do everything it was supposed to do,” said McHugh, noting that the beach is accreting along the entire length except for a small spot around Eugenia Avenue. Councilman Lipuma added that a shoal, which has just moved ashore, will soon start to attach along the beach and move more sand down the island. He also noted that, with the recent storms, some significant scarping has taken place along the beaches, but that the sand is lurking in the shallows off shore and the wave and wind action should push it back on shore.
Councilman Burnaford reported on the Johns Island Greenway, informing the Council that the County had only received 424 comments on the Greenway following the December 11 meeting at the Johns Island library. The study on the Greenway and the widening of Main and Bohicket roads should be completed by the end of March and will include cost analysis and possible alignments for both projects.
Regarding Charleston County Council elections, Burnaford reminded the Council that Councilman Paul Thurmond will not be running for his seat again as he is running for Henry Brown’s seat in Congress. As of the meeting, only James Island Councilman Joe Qualey is in the running for Thurmond’s County Council seat. County Councilman Curtis Inabinett will also not be running again for his seat, and as of the meeting, Fran Roberts of Robert’s Signs is running for Inabinett’s vacant seat. (Since the Kiawah Council meeting, James Island Councilman Parris Williams and Johns Island Councilman Thomas Legare have announced their candidacy for Inabinett’s seat).
“We’ll keep the people informed and guarantee that we’ll talk to these people and find out what they’re thinking,” said Burnaford.
Town Administrator’s report
Tumiko Rucker was welcomed back to the Council after being away on medical leave, and thanked everyone for their calls and concerns. Since January, all of the Town regimes have been transferred to the Town’s solid waste and recycling systems, and Fennell Container is now collecting the new dumpsters. Rucker also announced that the Census Bureau will be using Kiawah Town Hall as an assistance center for the 2010 Census. “When you receive your form, if you have any questions, we will have reps at Town Hall from March 18 – April 19,” said Rucker. She closed her report by stating that the Town has applied for two awards on recycling and are awaiting responses.
Mayor Wert commented that, when the Town started the beach renourishment project, there was a lot of opposition to it, “but we convinced them it was right to do,” said the Mayor. One issue, Mayor Wert noted, was that the project would affect the piping plover, but since the renourishment, Town Biologist Jim Jordan has seen piping plover as well as other endangered species on the renourished beach. “So not only did the renourishment work, it worked beyond what we expected,” said Wert, noting that it was the largest private beach renourishment project ever performed on the east coast.
The Mayor also congratulated Betty Stringfellow for being nominated by the Daughters of the American Revolution for a national award, which she recently received. If you see her, congratulate her on her national award.
Lastly, Mayor Wert reported that on January 10, he represented the Town at a Martin Luther King, Jr. celebration at an AME church on River Road. “It was very moving to see the changes since the 1963 march on Washington,” said Wert, noting that, “In researching my comments, the march was held in 1963 because it was the 100 year anniversary of the emancipation proclamation in 1863.” He was also proud to note that Tumiko Rucker was acknowledged during the service for her contributions to the island and the great example she has set as a mentor.
Fran Wermuth of 140 Hooded merganser, stated that she would like to represent those on Kiawah Island that have dogs. After waiting patiently for the October 31 start of the off-leash season, she found that dogs were not welcome in certain areas. “ I tried to do research and could not find out why this came before Council, and why we were not given sufficient notice,” said Wermuth. She pointed out that the signs on the beach have not been changed in order to reflect the new laws. “The timing seems hasty to me,” she said. “ We need to those address people with dogs who allow them to run into dunes and run into people. We need to hold the owner responsible, not punish all of us.”
Resident Art Morganstern also stood to comment, giving his congrats to Councilman Orban regarding the opening of the bike path. He asked if there would be any more barriers erected along the length of the path, as there are some curves along Governor’s Drive which seem as though they might need extra protection. Lastly, he asked if the Council would speak with property owners before negotiating any future developments with the Resort.