Councilman John Gregg reported several items related to the Public Safety Committee. The Emergency Preparedness pages of the Town’s website have been updated to include information determined to be important during the Town’s Hurricane Matthew after-action review. The next meeting of the Disaster Recovery Council (which includes representatives from the Town, SIPOA, Club, Marina, Camp St. Christopher, and St. Johns Fire District) will take place on January 5th and 6th. Since the focus of the January exercise will be “hurricanes,” the Town is inviting organizations such as the Charleston County Sheriff’s Office and Charleston County Emergency Management Department to participate.
Mr. Gregg attended November 18 meeting where FEMA and the South Carolina Emergency Management Department provided guidance on how to apply for FEMA’s Federal Disaster Grant Assistance for debris removal, emergency protective measures, repair of disaster-damaged publicly owned facilities, etc. He has submitted the Town’s request for assistance, providing details of the cleanup and repair expenses incurred by both the Town and the Utility Commission. FEMA representatives met with Town and Utility officials on December 16th to gather additional information, and they arranged to meet onsite with Utility Commission officials on December 21.
Councilman Jody Turner said that testing of issues with emergency ham radio communications at the Town’s office is proceeding. He added that hardware to re-install the Dog Off-Leash Area beach buoys is to be delivered soon, and buoy installation is a top priority.
Councilman John Wells reported that the Robert George engineering project has provided five completed surveys, and work on the final “traffic circle” survey is nearly complete. He added that he would soon be able to report on issues identified from this first phase of the effort’s review of survey drawings, plats, deeds, and related legal considerations. Mr. Wells introduced Ashley Brady of Obviouslee Marketing, who gave a “Marketing Year in Review” summary of accomplishments. Mr. Wells and the Council thanked Ashley and Obviouslee for five years of excellent service. [Editor’s Note: The Town is participating with SIPOA and the Club in a joint, but independently funded, arrangement with a new marketing firm, Lou Hammond and Associates.]
Councilman Skip Crane gave a brief report on activities of the community groups he meets with, and added that the SIPOA Board has approved sharing its file of Property Owner email addresses with the Town. Under their agreement, the Town will use the email addresses for direct “Code Red” types of communication to Property Owners, and Owners will be given an opportunity to “opt out” of this program. Mr. Crane urged care in establishing a procedure to remove and add Property Owner information as properties change hands in the future.
Mr. Wells summarized a report from the Accommodations Tax Advisory Committee that recommended the following donations ATAX funds in 2017: $5K for the Alan Fleming Tennis Tournament; $17K for Kick-It at Bohicket; and $8K for the Bohicket Invitational Billfish Tournament (plus $4.2K for the event’s parking detail and security patrols).
Mayor Ron Ciancio then led a rapid-fire series of motions, appointments and approvals:
- Meeting Dates for 2017 (for Council, Ways & Means, Planning Commission, and Utility Commission); dates will be posted on the Town’s website
- Appointment of the Mayor Pro Tem (John Gregg), Town Attorney (Stephen Brown), Town Clerk (Faye Allbritton), and Zoning Administrator (Randy Pierce)
- Appointment of new and replacement members for the Town’s Planning Commission, Board of Zoning Appeals, and Accommodations Tax Advisory Committee
- Changes to the Town Zoning Map to accurately depict changes during the year, in particular for updating zoning of properties donated by the Green Space Conservancy from Single-Family Residential to Agricultural
- Purchase of an additional fireproof filing cabinet
Utilities Commissioner Tim Morawski reported that SIUC’s October operations met all permit requirements and its lab has been certified for the next three years. He said that commissioners had discussed an interest in installing generators at four key pumping stations to provide fallback in future emergencies, and added that they will watch the SIUC financials for the possibility of having funds to start doing this. They are also looking at the possibility of obtaining FEMA funding for this if FEMA considers the purchase a hazard mitigation project.
The meeting’s business concluded with passage of a motion to adopt Ordinance 2016-10, An Ordinance to Adopt the 2017 Town Budget.
Official minutes of the meeting will be approved at the next Town Council meeting and published on the Town’s web site shortly thereafter.
-Submitted by Tidelines Staff