Highlights from the Town Council Meeting on August 22, 2017
Mayor Ciancio began the meeting with approval of minutes of the prior regular, ways and means, and budget meetings, and a review of the Town’s current financials.
The Town’s Auditor, Erik Glaser, presented results of the audit for the year ended December 31, 2016. He said that the Town is in very good financial condition, with assets exceeding liabilities by $4,736,000 at year-end. Some expenses were slightly higher than in 2015, specifically roadway maintenance (as a result of Hurricane Matthew), roadway drainage improvements (the Robert George contract), and promotion (the Charleston Symphony Orchestra performance on July 4). Design of internal financial controls is considered to be adequate, and sampling indicated that they were being properly followed. The Town’s liquidity is very good. The Town’s steady streams of income (from sources such as business licenses, franchise fees, permits, Accommodations Tax, etc.) are either stable or growing.
Councilman John Gregg reported that the Disaster Recovery Council met on July 27 to review the consultant’s report of recommendations resulting from the Town’s participation in the Disaster Recovery Council training exercise on June 7 and to confirm changes that should be made to the Town’s Comprehensive Emergency Plan. The Public Safety Committee met on August 14 to consider updating the Town’s Plan with these changes.
The Town’s request to FEMA for Mitigation Grant funding under the Town’s Hazard Mitigation Plan has produced an award of $79,000 from FEMA, with an additional $26,000 expected soon from the State of South Carolina. The funds will pay for a portion of the Town’s storm water drainage improvement project. Concurrent with this Town Council meeting, Charleston County was holding a meeting to complete revisions to its County-wide Hazard Mitigation Plan, which includes the Town of Seabrook Island’s Hazard Mitigation Plan. The Town will use the Plan resulting from the County’s meeting to review the Seabrook Island portion of the Plan, determine whether there is a need to make any changes, and adopt that portion of the plan as its own.
Town Council passed a motion to renew its Stand-By Contract for Disaster Debris Management services with Phillips & Jordan for one additional year. The contract for post-disaster debris removal and disposal was put in place in 2013, and this is the second of two one-year renewals. With this renewal, the value of the contract will be increased by 1.3%, in line with terms of the original agreement that calls for price adjustments based on changes in the Consumer Price Index.
Councilman Skip Crane said that he and Councilman John Wells had met with officials at Bohicket Marina on July 26 to learn about the Marina’s plans for making improvements to their access road and discuss the importance of coordinating that effort with the Town’s road improvement project.
Mayor Ciancio reported on progress related to the property at 1126 Ocean Forest, which had been declared a “nuisance” and for which notice of demolition had been served. The property was recently purchased subject to the Town’s notice of intention to demolish the home if the nuisance was not abated in a timely manner. The new owner asked Town Council to delay its efforts to demolish the property while he examined what alternatives were available to him with respect to the property. Council was concerned that the new owner might not take immediate action to abate the nuisance. As a result, the Town and the Property Owner have reached agreement on a series of target dates by which certain tasks, such as a decision to demolish or refurbish and completion of abatement of the nuisance, are to be completed. In addition, if the decision is to refurbish, the agreement defines the date on which the refurbishment is to be completed. The agreement also specifies a specific damage amount for each day that a scheduled target is not met. They also agreed that the Town may exercise its demolition rights if the overall schedule is not met. Council passed a motion to ratify this agreement.
Mayor Ciancio stated that it is necessary to expand Robert George & Associates’ work on Task Order 3 which addresses FEMA grant application assistance for repairs to Seabrook Island Road drainage facilities. As a result of receiving OCRM approval for “maintenance and repair” of two of the flood gates along the roadway, the Task is being modified to address additional engineering services to prepare surveys, drawings, and specifications for the work. There will be a separately-priced effort later to have Sunburst Landscaping to perform the work. Council passed a motion to approve the Task Order 3 addendum and its $10,500 cost.
The Mayor then announced Proclamation 2017-03 declaring Saturday, September 23, 2017, to be “Green Day” in honor of the Seabrook Island Green Space Conservancy. He noted that Green Space had acquired 25 parcels of land (22.5 acres) worth over $10 million since its inception in 2000. Click here to view Proclamation.
Utility Commissioner Jim Bannwart reported that SIUC’s July water treatment operations were within normal bounds. He noted that less water was delivered in July this year than in 2016: 29 million gallons in July 2017 when 12 inches of rain were recorded, compared to 43 million gallons in July 2016 when there had been only 2 inches of rain. The Commission is finishing maintenance of six manholes and doing some flushing of sewer lines. They are also working to obtain a permit to install a backup pump at Station #1.
Town Council approved Temporary Use Permit #219 for the Alan Fleming Senior Tennis Tournament on October 3 – October 9, 2017. The permit allows for installation of a 20’ x 30’ tent, directional signs, and banners. The permit had to be approved by the full Council because the event’s duration exceeded the normal 72-hour duration for this type of permit.
Official minutes of this meeting will be approved at the next Town Council meeting (September 26, 2017) and published shortly thereafter on the Town’s website.
-Submitted by Tidelines Editors