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Nov 06 2012

Seabrook Town Council – October 24, 2012

Financials

Mayor Holtz reported that year-to-date revenue is $719,795.84 versus a budgeted $667,870.14. Year-to-date expenditures are $437,567.36 versus a budgeted $458.594.45. “This compares favorably with last year,” Mayor Holtz stated. “We’re having a decent year financially.”

Carol Tempel Visits Seabrook

House District 115 Candidate Carol Tempel visited Town Council to sit in on the meeting and gain a better understanding of Seabrook’s issues. “I think it’s only fair that a representative of this area know the people and the issues that they are dealing with,” she said. A resident of James Island, small business owner, and educator, Tempel hopes to take her experience to Columbia. “I am running on a platform of education equals jobs,” she said. “I am trying to bring the background and skills that I have in education and small business to see if I can’t make a difference in our state economy.”

Government Relations

Councilman Reed informed Council that the Roads Steering Committee would be meeting on October 29. The committee is made up from representatives from both Kiawah and Seabrook Islands. The Fire Commissioners Meeting is scheduled for November 9. “There may be several firemen come and express their feelings on various issues,” he stated. “It could be interesting.” Reed also commented that the 25th Anniversary Celebration was a big success, and congratulated Councilman and Anniversary Chair Ciancio for a job well done.

Community Relations

Councilman Ahearn commented that Erica Harris, from the marketing group Obviouslee, joined the Visibility Committee at their last meeting. “We’re trying to get as visible as possible,” Ahearn stated. The Visibility Committee tossed around some ideas for the 2013 year, including advertisement on the daytime television show Kelly and Michael (formerly known as Regis and Kelly), repeating the Southern Living advertisement but in different regions, and also advertising in local newspapers in the Atlanta and Chicago regions. The committee also hopes to get additional video and photography footage for the website and Internet.

Ahearn also visited The Branding Commission meeting as a resource, to explain matters with the Town. The Branding Commission is meeting about every week and hopes to meet with Obviouslee in order to generate more ideas.

Councilman Reed asked Ahearn to explain more fully what was meant by the “success” of the Southern Living ad. Ahearn explained that the advertisement for Seabrook Island ran in two different publications of Southern Living. The first appeared in the North Carolina version and the second ran in the Midwest version. Over 900 inquires about the island have come in as a result of the ad. All those who inquired received a form letter in the mail along with information and brochures about the island. 

Charleston is the Number One City!

Councilman Cummin commented that the Governor of South Carolina was in Charleston earlier in the month to discuss the state of tourism, and was very happy that Charleston has been selected as the number one city in the world according to Conde Nast. The airline Jet Blue is also launching new direct flights to Charleston beginning in February 2013.

Emergency Preparedness
Councilman Cummin informed the Council that a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) meeting was held on October 21. The HAM radio system is now set up and “works very well.”

Cummin demonstrated to Council how the system would help in an emergency situation. First, there would be a Code Red announcement sent out to all those subscribed to receive alerts. He explained that both the Comprehensive Emergency Plan and the Emergency Operations Plan cover what each Councilmember would be responsible for in an emergency situation. “We all have a job to do in Town Council,” he said. After the Code Red alert is sent out, the Town would get in touch with the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) in Charleston. If both landlines and cell phones are unavailable to contact the EOC, the Town would use the Satellite telephone. If that were unusable, the Town would use the Amateur Radio System. “We’ve done as much as we can do to prepare for a disaster,” Cummin added.

25th Anniversary Celebration
Councilman Ciancio commented that the Town’s 25th Anniversary Celebration was a success. “We have had a number of compliments regarding the event,” he said. “It was a success for the Charleston Symphony Orchestra as well as a success for the Town.” Ciancio was pleased with the way the Club handled the food distribution well, and he added that the POA was “very cooperative” in handling traffic. Ciancio thanked the committee responsible for the celebrations. “They did an outstanding job,” he said. Around 700 people attended the event, compared to the 1,180 preregistrations. Ciancio was unsure of why many who preregistered did not show up to the event, commenting that it could have been because they thought it would be too crowded. Though the extra meal cost that wasn’t used was lost, Ciancio said that he is “highly confident” that the event will come in around 10 percent under budget. Mayor Holtz suggested that funds be used to take the Anniversary Committee out to dinner for all of their hard work.

Public Safety

The Public Safety Committee held their fifth meeting on October 16. The committee completed a review of the comprehensive emergency plan, and has around ten pages of recommendations to submit for changes, in order to help clarify and simplify the overall effectiveness of the plan. The committee will present a full report to Council before the end of the year.

Debris Removal Ordinance

Council discussed clarifying ordinance 2012-2 regarding removing debris after a disaster. The language in the existing ordinance implies in part that when a debris-generating event causes the debris to be deposited on property, public or private and within the Town limits, the Town would assume responsibility for removal behind the gate. This was not the intention. In order to clarify, the ordinance was amended to clear up any confusion and put the Town in the best possible position to receive FEMA reimbursements if possible. Council unanimously approved changes to the ordinance.

Council Meeting Adjustments

Mayor Holtz discussed with Council the November and December meetings, and when best to schedule them in order to avoid conflicts during the holiday season. The November meeting was originally scheduled for November 20, and has now been moved to November 13. The December meeting has been changed to December 11. The Town Christmas Party is on December 13.

Development Standards Ordinance

Town Administrator Pierce addressed Council regarding Ordinance 2012-3, which deals with heating and air conditioning units on some of the older structures on the island. Many of the multi-family units are having their units replaced from under their house to above their house, in order to meet flood prevention standards. When the HVAC unit is moved, it encroaches into a setback. “In order to prevent the hassle of taking every one to the Board of Zoning Appeals, we have an ordinance here that would allow us to go ahead and do that and to encroach as much as 5 feet into setback, that way those can be handled on a daily basis” Pierce explained. Council unanimously approved the ordinance.

Town Budget

Council discussed Ordinance 2012-4 regarding the Town budget. “The budget is pretty close to last year,” Mayor Holtz explained. “There are no major differences.” Council approved a first reading of the budget.

Insurance Licenses

Council discussed Ordinance 2012-5, regarding insurance licenses. Pierce reported that the state has changed the way they are collecting insurance. The existing agreement was signed in 1993 and continues on a year-to-year basis until terminated. The existing agreement and the new agreement read almost identically, with the exception of minor adjustments in place to accommodate state regulations. “What we should do is give notice that we are cancelling this agreement and at the same time, sign the new one,” Pierce suggested. Council passed the ordinance unanimously.

The next Town Council meeting will take place on Tuesday, November 13, at 2:30 p.m.

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