May 18 2010

Seabrook Town Council meeting – April 27, 2010

PGA provides sneak preview of 2012

Brett Sterba, Championship Director for the 2012 PGA Championship, attended the Seabrook Town Council meeting to answer a few questions about the tournament and its logistics.

The tournament will be held August 9 – 12, 2012, but Sterba has been on Kiawah since June of 2009 planning the event. “This event is about 10 times larger than a Ryder Cup,” said Sterba. “We’re going to have about 114 hours of live golf coverage on ESPN and 154 hours of coverage on the Golf Channel; just over six days of coverage altogether.” The coverage will reach 590 million households in 190 countries.

“we are concerned about the amount of people coming onto the island, but this will be globally important to the region,” said Sterba. “We’re looking at well over $150 million in economic impact on this area for those seven days.”

Because of transportation logistics and in order to maximize the spectators’ experience, tickets to the event will be limited to less than 30,000 per day and will probably be closer to 27,000 per day. Tickets, which will possibly range in price from $75 – $80 though prices have not been finalized, will be on sale in July of 2011 and Sterba said that they are expecting a full sell-out. There is an online tool for pre-registration and on filling out your information, you will be notified as to when the tickets will be on sale, and you will be included in an exclusive ticket purchasing window anywhere from five days to two weeks in advance of regular sales. For more information or to pre-register, visit www.PGA2012.com. A place to sign up for volunteering during the event will also be available on the website.

“We know that traffic and parking is a public concern for both islands,” said Sterba, “and we will do what we can to alleviate these issues in the public’s mind.” In fact, the plans for a committee including the PGA, town officials, SCDOT, and the South Carolina Highway Patrol and County Sheriffs to plan for emergency management, parking and community concerns are in the works and the committee itself will be formed by late fall of this year. “We’ll leave most of this to the true experts to form a plan,” said Sterba. “ Their input will help us determine traffic alterations as they see fit.” Some rough plans already involve parking in the cleared spaces around Freshfield Village with shuttle service, and possible parking downtown with shuttle service, though the idea has not been discussed yet with the City of Charleston.

“There will be a collective agreement by everyone involved,” Sterba assured the Council. “We will do what we can to have less traffic on the road during the event.” Sterba did point out that issue of housing is not something that the PGA can handle. “There will be a discussion, but the PGA is not in housing, our role is strictly focused on getting people to and from the event.”

For more information on the 2012 PGA Championship, visit www.PGA2012.com.

Town financials

“Activity on the island is at least holding equal to last year and building activities strong,” Mayor Holtz was happy to announce, though the town is still a little behind on business licenses. For the three months ending in March, total revenues are $194,207.77, only a little behind last year-to-date’s total of $200,853.50. Total expenditures are $122,636.37 ($16,494.52 less than budgeted) and excess of revenues over expenditures is $71,571.40, compared to $97,122.35 last year.

“We’re still above budget, still ‘making money’ as they say in business,” smiled Holtz.

Roads committee

Councilman Sam Reed stated that the Road Committee is continuing to meet with the County Council concerning Johns Island’s roads, and they are still waiting on the LPA report, which should be ready by late May. “We continue to feel confident, but it’s like pulling teeth,”said Reed. “It’s not easy.” To help move the issue forward, a special Roads Committee meeting was scheduled to be held the Thursday after the Council meeting.

“Because of the upcoming changeover in County Council and Council members leaving, we’re not sure if they’re still focused on our problem,” said Holtz. “We’re concerned about the Council being able to move on the issue when the study is complete and we’d like to have some plan on improving Johns Island’s roads. There’s dissention on Council on what to do with Johns Island and we want to get something done.”

Town website on its way

Councilman Jerry Cummin reported that the website committee would meet the Thursday after the Council meeting and decide between the three companies currently being considered to create the town website, but Cummin cautioned that it wouldn’t be a quick process. “The implementation will take six weeks or more,” said Cummin. In the meantime, however, Shawna Jarrett of the Seabrook POA is working on some temporary improvements on the website and Cummin encouraged everyone to visit it and check out her work. “There are some wonderful pictures by Bob Heir, and links to the Marina, Freshfields and the Club,” said Cummin. “We appreciate the loan of her by the POA.” The town website is www.townofseabrookisland.org.

Public Safety

Councilman Rob Savin stated that the Disaster Preparedness plans are moving along well and badges are being made for first responders so that they can return to the island in the event of an evacuation.

Approach to Seabrook road improvements

Town Administrator Randy Pierce addressed two issues on which the town has been working. The drainage issue along the Parkway will be finished up in mid-May, and salt-tolerant grass will be planted in the bare areas and where the turf has been damaged by careless drivers. Piece said the drain should work much better and should flow out with the tide. The total cost of the project came in at just under $17,000.

The other item is the issue of the Town Hall air conditioner, which died not too long ago. Five bids have been received to replace it and Pierce estimates that the cost shouldn’t be more than $7500. The funds for the sod replacement, drainage and air conditioning unit were set aside last year, and Pierce estimates that there should still be a little left of the original $110,000 amount to deposit back in the bank.

Council approved the $7500 expenditure for the air conditioner and the $17,000 for the sod replacement and drainage unanimously.

Ordinance 2010-01 receives second reading

Ordinance 2010-01, an ordinance rezoning lot 7 on Landfall Way from multi-family to agricultural conservation was approved unanimously and passed into law.

Beach Safety week proclamation

Mayor Holtz proclaimed May 24 – 31, 2010, to be National Beach Safety Week on Seabrook Island. “This is our support for safety rules,” said Holtz. “It’s very important. I see kids out there on sand bars and people still go out there even though signs say that it’s dangerous. People just need to be careful.” Council approved the proclamation unanimously.

The next Seabrook Island Town Council meeting will be held on June 22 at 2:30 p.m. at Seabrook Town Hall, located at 2001 Seabrook Island Road. For more info, visit www.townofseabrookisland.org or call 768-9121.

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