By Gregg Bragg for The Island Connection
Mayor Ron Ciancio lead the Seabrook Island Town Council (SITC) meeting on June 25, reporting the overall fund balance dropped to just over $4.8 million down from $4.9 million in April. The town generated $44,000 in revenue for the month, half of which was from business licenses with another 25% coming from the town’s investment pool.
Expenses for the month of May were $160,000; the two biggest ones were $19,000 for engineering costs and $67,000 for capital improvements. Both expenses and revenues hovered around the 30% mark for the first five months of the year.
Council member John Gregg said the public safety committee met earlier in June. They discussed revising a 2013 memorandum of understanding with the Seabrook Island Property Owners Association (SIPOA) for clearing debris from private roads after a disaster. The topic was addressed because of new guidance received from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), changing the approval process for costs of clearing roads for the passage of emergency vehicles. The committee also considered debris removal plans of other municipalities, based on updated information from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Gregg also reported the disaster recovery council held a hurricane preparedness training and exercise session on June 4-5. Scott Cave, the town’s consultant, will produce a report of the practice session with suggestions for improvement at their next meeting on July 14th. He concluded his report by suggesting Seabrook participate in Charleston’s County’s prospective effort to form a floodplain management committee.
Council member Wells reported Seabrook’s dolphin education program was underway for the year with 600 encounters this season. He reported the level of participation improved since last year and thinks splitting four hour shifts into two hour shifts helped.
Town administrator Joe Cronin detailed the beach patrol report for the month of May noting the permit process for renovations at the Beach Club were approved by the town, and the process now moves to the County for approval.
Tim Morawski reported the Seabrook Island Utility (SIU) delivered 30 million gallons of water during the month of May. The $20,000 earned from the sale is the equivalent of the previous four months of income for SIU and puts the utility in good shape for the year. The utility commissioner reported current projects include fixing leaks located under the pavement of several regimes, testing for lead in Seabrook’s water, reviewing SIU’s standard operating procedures, and implementing a new bill format in the next billing cycle.
Ordinance 2019-04 was read into the record for the first time which rezones 2820 Dove Nest from the single family residential category to agriculturalconservation. The parcel will be added to the long list of properties transferred to the greenspace conservancy/SIPOA in recent years. Council member Finke described the parcel as beneficial for the conservancy because of its strategic location next to the Lake House.
Other ordinances read for the first time and receiving unanimous support included;
Ordinance 2019-05. The net effect allows residents to apply for variances to setbacks for HVAC equipment in homes built before the town was incorporated and before the current set of FEMA regulations went into effect. It also reduces the application fee by $200.
Ordinance 2019-06 allows adoption of the town’s updated comprehensive plan
Ordinance 2019- 07 renews the town’s option to issue bonds in the amount of $4.5 million, should the need for additional funds arise (e.g. a disaster).
Ordinance 2019-08 prohibits the distribution of single use plastic bags, plastic straws and polystyrene (coolers, cups, and other food containers) by any business operating in the Town of Seabrook Island.
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned.