Before the official meeting of the Town Council, a public hearing was held for Ordinance 2009-09: Amendments to the 2009/2010 Budget. As there were no comments, the public hearing was closed.
Proclamation of National American Indian Heritage Month
Mayor Wert announced that, at the behest of the Daughters of the American Revolution and their representative Brenda Larson, the month of November has been proclaimed as National American Indian Heritage Month. Wert explained that President George Bush Sr. designated November as National American Indian Heritage Month in 1990 as an expansion on Native American Awareness Week, which began in 1976.
Ordinance 2009-09: Amendments to Budget
The second reading of Ordinance 2009-09 was approved unanimously. The amendments included a $3,000 increase to Vehicle Repairs, a $91,000 increase to Solid Waste Disposal in order to add the Regimes to Solid Waste Services, a $25,000 increase to the Contingency Funds to replace the amount used for recycling containers, and a $10,000 increase to Beach Patrol as the Town required a change of contractors mid-year.
Ordinance 2009-07: Amendments to Health and Sanitation
The second reading of Ordinance 2009-07, the original recycling Ordinance, was held as it had been tabled at the last Town Council meeting. “Because the Ordinance was amended drastically, we still have to do something with this old Ordinance,” explained Mayor Wert, suggesting that the Council turn it down. The Ordinance was voted down unanimously.
Ordinance 2009-10: (New) Amendments to Health and Sanitation
The first reading of the new recycling amendment was approved unanimously and the public hearing for it will be held on November 3 at 1:30pm before the next Council meeting. Councilman McHugh summarized the changes to the current policy as follows: 1) All Dwelling units will participate in the Town’s solid waste disposal system, however, Regimes and homeowners associations will not participate in yard debris collection; 2) The Town’s subsidy for solid waste collection will be extended to all property owners; 3) Regimes can choose from one of three options to participate in recycling: a) Use the centralized location at Sora Rail or the Town Center; b) use centralized collection sites on their property, or c) where feasible, use of Town-provided recycling containers at each dwelling unit.
“There is a sense of ‘let me see how this thing works’,” said McHugh as he discussed the process with which he and representatives of the island’s Regimes and HOAs came to the changes listed above, “So if we can get some winners with central recycling bins on their properties, that would help.” He also noted that another central recycling center on the island would also be a great help. “I think we’ve gotten partway there,” said the Mayor, “but this is a compromise and good legislation is a compromise. I give Harry [McHugh], the HOAs and the Regimes a lot of good will for trying to make this happen and we’ll continue to try to make it better.”
Presentation of Audit
Treasurer Ken Gunnells reported that the Town received an unqualified opinion, or “clean” opinion for the their 2008/09 audit performed by Webster Rogers and Company. “There were no issued during the audit and if it’s not done right on time, it will be done a little early,” Gunnells reported. “We did as well as we’ve done in past years and the audit will be posted on the web,” he noted. Mayor Wert thanked Gunnells, pointing out that he continues to state that the audit is a positive reflection of both his [Gunnells] and Tumiko’s [Rucker] hard work. “It’s a credit to your good management,” he said to Gunnells, smiling.
GFOA awards of excellence
Town Administrator Tumiko Rucker reported that the Town’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) qualified for a Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting from the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA), as well as the Town’s Popular Annual Financial Report, which qualified for a Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting. Treasurer Ken Gunnells graciously accepted the GFOA award for excellent financial planning and reporting from Rucker.
Kiawah Island Parkway landscaping
“Most of you saw the note on the KICA webpage,” said Mayor Wert, “but people are still trying to ride on the new bikeway – past the barriers and signs telling them not to – which once again proves that you can’t legislate stupidity.” Councilman Orban reported that landscaping bids were accepted between September 8 and September 16 and the Town received three bids: from The Greenery of Charleston ($509,568.52), Three Oaks Contractors ($611,385.50) and Sustainable Resources Group ($689,893.22). The Ways and Means Committee reviewed the bids and approved the awarding of the contract to The Greenery of Charleston in an amount not to exceed $550,000. The contract award was approved unanimously.
Parkway Project change orders: old storm water drain
Councilman Orban reported that during the construction of the bike path, an old storm water drain was discovered that extends from Freshfields Village to Brickyard Creek. The 24 inch drain, which extends 1300 feet, is in such disrepair that it will need to be replaced. At the same time, it was found that the current Kiawah Island Parkway will need to be cut in four locations to allow for irrigation pipes and electrical wiring and it was determined that this should be done before the Parkway is repaved. Orban stated that because of these items, the Town needs to be authorized to select a contractor and negotiate a contract, not to exceed $275,000, to both replace the storm water drain and perform the four open cuts into the Parkway. “We may be able to use Gulfstream [contractors] who are already working on the Parkway, but if their price is unfair we will go out for bids,” said Orban. Both requests were previously approved by Ways and Means. Councilman Lipuma noted that they had discussed filling the old drain with sand and cement, but found it would be too expensive. “On the positive side, we’re still under budget,” said Orban. “The original estimate was for $4.5 million and the total cost right now is between $2.5 and $3 million.” The Council approved the authorization to find a contractor and make the repairs with a total amount not to exceed $275,000.
Beach Patrol contract
“I know you’re thinking ‘Gee, we just did this’, and we did,” said Mayor Wert. “But the company we hired, A Services Group, has not performed properly or to contract.” The Town has given A Services until October 23, at which point their contact will be terminated as per the conditions in the contact, and will be replaced by Island Beach Services at a cost of $218,360/year; $8,081.01 more than what was budgeted with A Services. Island Beach Services will have the same three year contract as A Services, with the same conditions stating that the contract may be terminated with 30 days notice. The contract was approved unanimously.
Edward R. Dittmeier appointed to Planning Commission
The Mayor asked for an approval for island resident Edward R. Dittmeier to replace Joyce Newman on the Planning Commission for a term to expire in June 2012. The motion was approved unanimously.
Arts Council report
Councilman Lipuma reported that the season is off to a great start with its inaugural performance by the Fred Moyer Jazz Arts Trio. More than 200 people attended the performance and the band performed a great selection of material. Lipuma also noted several upcoming events, including the Piano Bar series at the Sandcastle (Wednesdays from 5 – 6pm with the last performance on October 21) and Duda Lucena, who performed at Turtle Point on October 8.
Keeping the Bike Path clear
Councilman Orban noted that the bike path should be open for public use later in the fall, pointing out that they still have major landscaping to finish, as well as grading the slopes and installing handrails and guardrails. “We need to keep people off the path until it’s done,” said Orban. “There are trucks still working on the path and they need the space, so just cooperate for another couple of months and we’ll all be happy with the final results,” he smiled.
Recycling and the environment
“I just can’t get away from garbage,” laughed Councilman McHugh. “We’ve had some very involved meetings and we’ve put a heck of a lot of time into this [Ordinance 2009-10], so I would be remiss if I didn’t note the hard work of Tumiko [Rucker] and Rusty [Lameo].” He also noted under the Environment report, that Town Biologist Jim Jordan has a group of students with his this fall for an environmental education class. “It’s good exposure that they normally wouldn’t get,” said McHugh.
Councilman Burnaford pointed out that the Kiawah Town Notes recently ran a story explaining the proposed Johns Island Greenway and that the County Council is now “putting some facts on sheets” for the path the Greenway would take, the construction and the costs. He hopes that the studies will be done by the Christmas holidays. Public discussions on the road will be determined by the County Council. “Something that people may have missed is that [County Councilman] Vic Rawl suggested looking into the widening of Main Road and Bohicket Road as an alternative,” said Burnaford. He then outlined the basic premise of the Johns Island Greenway, noting that it would be two lanes with a dirt path on either side as a bike/equestrian path. The road would be limited access with junctures at Plowground and Edenvale in the potential form of roundabouts. “[The Greenway] has a lot of momentum behind it and making Bohicket, River and Main all safer with turn lanes is needed no matter what,” he said. Finally, Burnaford noted that we have made it three-fourths of the way through hurricane season, “But October and November can still be active, so don’t let your guard down.”
Town Administrator’s report
Town Administrator Tumiko Rucker reported on several items, starting with the Kiawah Island Parkway Project. The Town has submitted a request for the $250,000 reimbursement from Charleston County for the FY2008 Transportation Sales Tax grant. The Town has also received notification of a $50,000 grant from the Charleston County Transportation Committee. In the Recycling Program, 378 35-gallon recycling containers were distributed to Homeowners Associations and to 30 single family residents and collection began on September 28. 10 of the 26 Homeowners/Regime are using onsite containers to participate in the recycling program. The Town has also been awarded 38 trees from Palmetto Pride; a combination of Leyland Cypress, River Birch and Wax Myrtles. The trees will be used in future landscaping around the island. Finally, Rucker will be representing the Association of Public Treasurer’s of the US and Canada during the Municipal Finance Officers Clerks Treasurers Association meeting to discuss the Annual Conference in Charleston in July 2010.
Mayor Wert remarked on the Mid-Amateur golf tournament being held at the Kiawah Island Club. The regional qualifications began with 4,000 competitors and was quickly reduced to 64. The winner of this competition is usually invited to the Masters. He also noted that CARTA held a public meeting on October 8 to hear about the plans for a new Regional Intermodal Center, or transportation hub, in North Charleston. As for hearing back from the OCRM about the setback lines issue discussed in April, the Mayor reported that they still have not heard anything.
Wendy Kulick jokingly asked Councilman Orban why his report didn’t include when the Steve Orban Memorial Bikepath sign would be installed on the new bike path. She also asked if the Town had considered a section in the 2005 island development agreement with the KRA in regards to Captain Sam’s Spit that asked them to consider establishing an area for KICA members to launch kayaks, etc. in good faith.
On behalf of the coalition of regime directors, Marilyn Olson thanked the Town for resolving the recycling issue. She asked that the Town also do what it can to encourage recycling in the rental units across the island, as well.