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Aug 01 2012

Town of Seabrook Island Council Meeting Notes – July 24, 2012

Financials

Councilmember Terry Ahearn opened the meeting by stating that Mayor Holtz was on vacation. He continued to Town financials, stating that the Town has an excess of revenues over expenditures by $82,178.89. “We’re running at a pretty good pace,” Ahearn stated. “We’re in good shape.”

Permitting a Tent for Red’s Ice House

Steve Carroll from Red’s Ice House addressed the Council regarding a request for a tent to cover the backside of Bohicket Marina during the PGA. “We feel that it would be a safety issue in the case of extreme heat and weather.” Carroll explained. “We don’t want everyone slamming into small bars and restaurants.”

A permit is required to put up a tent in excess of three days. Carroll previously addressed the Planning Commission on behalf of Red’s Ice House with request to cover several thousand square feet on the front side of Bohicket Marina, but the request has since changed to cover only the waterside of the back lawn. The requested cover area is 90’ x 40’. “It’s essentially the area that we already utilize out back,” Carol explained.

The Council unanimously approved the request for a tent to be held outside of Red’s Ice House during the week of the PGA.

Government Relations

Councilmember Sam Reed stated that there is not a lot of news happening regarding roads. “As you know, there are two road issues – the completion of I-526 and the consideration of the completed Greenway.” Reed stated that a press conference was held on July 20 where several elected officials showed support of the completion of I-526 as well as the Greenway. “The next step is to let authorities know that we support that decision,” Reed stated.

Lieutenant Governor Glenn McConnell and State Representative Peter McCoy visited Seabrook on July 19. “Those gentlemen made a good presentation,” Reed said. “They raised interesting, challenging, and thoughtful questions. We were please that the Town got them out here.”

Walter Hundley also visited Seabrook to thank the Town for putting him over the top in the July 17 election. He thanked the people of Seabrook and was happy to come out.

Community Relations

Ahearn informed the Council that he is pleased with the works of the Visibility Committee. “We have had a lot of very positive things happening,” Ahearn said. Ads for Seabrook Island appeared in Southern Living, in their North Carolina circulation as well as their Midwest circulation. Over 900 inquiries resulting from the ad came in the first month. “The Mayor has taken up the task of writing back to every person he can,” Ahearn continued. “It’s been a very good campaign.”

Council also carried a motion to allow the Visibility Committee funding for a changeable sign to be placed on the way into Seabrook, before Bohicket Marina. The sign will have a permanent pole base with arms coming off the top sides to allow for changeable banners. Council approved the budget of $3,000 towards developing and implementing signage into Seabrook.

Ahearn also reported that the Visibility Committee would have tents promoting Seabrook Island at Bohicket Marina and Freshfields Village during the week of the PGA tournament. Brochures, giveaways, and day passes will be given out to interested visitors. “We are trying to tell people that we are in a welcoming mood. We want people to see our island during the PGA and vacation here or buy here,” Ahearn explained. “Any visibility is good for the island and good for the homeowners. We want to be able to sell our houses if we need.”

Communications

The new antenna placed on the roof of Town Hall to support the HAM radio system is now up and running, making communication during an emergency situation more effective. “We are pleased to say everything works,” Councilmember Jerry Cummin said.

Anniversary Celebration

The ninth meeting of the Anniversary Committee was held on June 19. Councilmember Ciancio stated that the timing of events has been finalized, and the Committee is now drilling down on micro issues, such as parking and traffic flow. The celebrations will begin with a bike/walking tour at 9:30 a.m. Equestrian events will take place from 1:00 p.m. – 1:45 p.m., followed by the tennis exhibition from 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. The Choraleers will perform at 3:00 for around 20 minutes. At 3:45, a short program will be held with speeches from the Mayor and previous mayors. As speeches are concluded, The Choraleers will join the Charleston Symphony Orchestra in singing the National Anthem. The CSO will perform from 4:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. Afterwards, the Town will provide meals furnished by the Club. “Right now, we are trying to figure out a way to let the public know if the event is cancelled,” Ciancio explained. “But all in all, I am very pleased with the work of the Committee. Things are falling into place.”

Public Safety

The Public Safety Committee held their second meeting on July 11 to conduct a review of the Comprehensive Emergency Plan. The Committee hopes to create individual safety plans for each councilmember to reference in case of emergency, to allow for more effective emergency response.

Councilman Ahearn expressed concern regarding Seabrook Island emergency funds. “Right now we have about half a million dollars for an emergency. Kiawah has about 16 million. We have a need to beef up our fund, and we have an easy way of doing that.” The Town has a $440,000.00 loan out to the Seabrook Island Utility Commission, which can be called on without penalty after the first week in November. Councilmember Ciancio made a motion to call on the loan promptly, with the understanding that the Utility Commission would not have to repay the funds if doing so would incur penalties, unless the Town so notified in case of emergency. Council passed the motion, and the loan will stay out as long as necessary to avoid penalties, unless an emergency situation arises.

Town Administrator Report – PGA

Town Administrator Randy Pierce reported that all deputies and highway patrol involved in PGA traffic control would hold a tabletop drill on July 30. “Everything is coming along really well,” Pierce stated. “It will all come together and we will just have to see what happens that week.”

Utility Commission

The Utility Commission reported that financials “looked good” and are on budget. The Wastewater Treatment Project is moving ahead of schedule. The new tank has been installed and work on the drying beds has been started. The project is scheduled for completion the first week in December.

Council adjourned to go into Executive Session.  

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