Highlights from the SIPOA Board Meeting, October 16, 2017

Treasurer’s Report:  John Feldman reported that SIPOA’s cash flow for the first nine months of 2017 was favorable and all Cash Balances were strong.  Operating Cash was down by approximately $225K from August as we funded normal SIPOA operations, and Cash Reserves were down by $99K due to the funding of planned capital projects during the month.  Total Liabilities were down by $5,000, and Notes Payable was down by $22,000.  On the Income Statement side, year-to-date Operating Revenue was $278K better than budget.  (This figure is net of the $556K one-time Special Assessment.)  With year-to-date Expenses lower than budget by $122K, the overall Net Income was $400K better than budget for the first nine months of the year, largely due to Property Transfer Fees.


Executive Director’s Report:  Heather Paton reported that the clean up from Hurricane Irma is complete.  There was less debris from this storm than from Hurricane Matthew, so we did not have to utilize the pasture for debris staging.  We expect to have final cleanup costs shortly, once all invoices have been received.

RFPs for 2018 Stormwater Pipe Lining will be sent to vendors this month.  Norred began work as our security vendor on October 15th at 6:00 a.m.  Officers have new uniforms of grey shirts and grey pants, with the officer’s name and the company name on their ID badges.  Although the officers have received SIPOA-specific training, Ms. Paton asked for patience as the new officers become more familiar with our systems.

The SIPOA office staff is working with the Finance Committee on budget preparation as well as on preliminary preparations for the 2018 Annual Meeting.  Lake House staff have started preparations for the November Turkey Trot and Holiday Tree Lighting; in addition, they report that a recently donated pool table has been installed in the Bobcat 1 meeting room.

ARC activity includes 24 new homes under construction, 2 new homes approved and not yet started, and 13 applications pending.  Thirteen comments were received via publiccomment.org in September; topics ranged from dead animals to signs, storm drains, and some post-Irma thanks to SIPOA staff.


Appeals:  As no one was present to speak about either appeal, discussion of the appeals of Citation #9984 and Trash Violation #2902-120 was deferred to Executive Session.  Following the Executive Session, the Board unanimously voted to deny the appeals and support Security Committee decisions about the Citation and Violation.  (Ed Houff and Phil Squire recused themselves from the vote because they were Chair and Vice-Chair of the Safety and Security Committee at the time the original appeal was heard and decided at the Committee level.)


Election Process Special and Architectural Review Committees:  SIPOA President Ed Houff reported that the Election Process Committee’s requests for motions have been deferred until the November Board meeting to permit Legal review, and also that the ARC’s proposed revisions to the Policies & Procedures manual have been deferred until the November Board meeting to permit Legal review.


Planning Committee:  Dan Kortvelesy announced that the 2018 Strategic Plan will be available soon.  It includes various proposals, including a “mobility” study to consider topics such as adding sidewalks, making Seabrook Island a “Share the Road Community,” and providing for additional parking.  Planning is considering expanding their work to include teaming with GOMC to study drainage issues.  Mr. Kortvelesy asked all committee chairs to submit their input for consideration in the 2018 plan very soon.  Planning’s work in 2018 will include an island-wide survey; the committee will also look at additional ways to gather data.


Communications:  SIPOA Vice President Julie McCulloch reported that the new joint SIPOA-Club website is ready for launch, but we are waiting for completion of some final technical work by the company hosting the server.  A well-attended site demonstration/Q&A was held on September 29th.  Ms. McCulloch expects that the new site will be up and running next week.  Lynn Crane noted that Tidelines had 1861 followers (494 via Facebook and 1367 via email) as of the end of September, and she noted that the TidelinesAlert Twitter account had 284 followers—90 of these added in September and probably associated with Hurricane Irma.


Environmental Committee:  Michael Orris reported on many topics:

  • There is a group looking into holding a Recycling Center “Clean-Up” day.
  • Based on NOAA’s concern about harassment of dolphins at North Beach, the Town is studying whether we have an ongoing problem.
  • The fence around the Garden Plots was damaged in two places, by a fallen tree and by a vehicle. The committee is gathering information about cost of replacement and will submit information to the Board when available.
  • Signs about Lawn Spraying at the Lake House should be standardized and perhaps posted in advance of spraying so that pedestrians and dog-walkers have advance notice.
  • Proposals for the Palmetto Lake Fishing Dock are much higher than the not-to-exceed price previously approved by the Board.
  • Wildlife mapping shows that Bobcat sightings have increased and there are now fewer Turkey sightings.
  • The Turtle Patrol reported that this year’s nests had experienced some predation. Beautsie Zahrn has retired from its leadership and will be missed.
  • The first count of the annual Deer Management Survey is complete. The count of 103 deer is higher than in recent years, and additional counts are planned for the Fall.
  • Bluebird monitoring is complete for the year; counts are down, due in part to predation.
  • Litter pick-up (Adopt-a-Highway) was completed on October 7th; the next scheduled pick-up will be in February 2018.


Nominating Committee:  Dennis Pescitelli reported that candidate interviews have been completed.  The committee is finishing their deliberations and will report their recommendations at the November Board meeting.


General Operations & Maintenance Committee:  Guy Gimson reported that SIPOA’s summer interns revisited the health of the 50-odd lakes under SIPOA’s control, a project last done 3 years ago.  They found healthy fish stocks, over 100 alligators, and a need for aerators (such as can be seen in several lakes) in the finger lakes around Old Oak Walk.  They also found that the dredging we did 3 years ago was effective; the lake depths are pretty well where we need them to be.  (Note that if a lake is not dredged, it gradually fills with sediment, leaves, etc. and turns into a marsh.)

A small group of GOMC members revisited the Capital Reserve Projection, a 40-year projection of our capital needs to maintain SIPOA’s infrastructure.  They looked at various item costs based on current pricing, added a few items, and removed a few items.  The net effect is small on the average projected over the next 40 years ($1.47 million), but more importantly gives us the main items needed in next year’s Capital Budget, on which the Finance Committee started work last week.  He offered to share a summary of the changes with anyone who is interested.

GOMC discussed the drainage problem on Pine Needle Lane.  The outfall from Pump Station 1 in the marsh by Crooked Oaks 4 is now higher than the street, resulting in flooding on Pine Needle Lane when the pump station is running.  Mr. Gimson has asked the Club’s General Manager, Caleb Elledge, for a meeting to see what might be done in the short term until the Club is able to acquire its permits for a planned 2018 project to turn the marsh back into a lagoon.


Activities Committee:  Ed Williams reported that the committee is meeting and said the process is working well.


2017 Housing Committee:  Lynn Crane reported that five individuals who represent ownership of villas and single-family homes, commercial property management, Board membership on a villa regime, a villa association, and SIRE are leading some projects designed to help improve the appearance of properties on the island.  One project is referencing existing ARC-approved regime/association Standards Manuals to establish a common format that could be adopted by any regime/association and updated with its specific requirements.  Another is working with SIPOA to study ways to improve the existing process for annual ARC inspections of standards compliance by regimes and associations and for regular observation and enforcement of property maintenance standards for single-family properties.  A final project is evaluating ways to provide guidance to Property Owners who want advice on how to maintain or upgrade their properties to make them better candidates as rental or for resale.


Motions for Board Consideration:

  • An agreement with Elliot Davis Decosimo, LLC for tax preparation and audit services was unanimously approved. John Feldman explained that the candidates included qualified firms recommended by outside counsel and managers of other large-scale communities.
  • Property donations from SIGSC were unanimously approved. Properties are B41/L09 at 2718 Old Oak Walk and B43/L08 at 2731 Old Oak Walk.
  • A request to establish a Sea Level Rise Impact Special Committee of the Board was unanimously approved. “Rationale:  The purpose and charter of the committee (to include members of the ARC, Environmental, GOMC, Planning, and Legal, along with other property owners) will be to begin with the work of the 2016 High Tide Impact Subcommittee and extend the scope of its undertaking to include what steps and actions might be taken to mitigate the effects of storm surge, higher than normal tides, higher annual rainfall totals and other weather effects that result in increased accumulations of water within the Seabrook Island Development.”
  • Renewal of the “Adopt-A-Highway” agreement with the SC Department of Transportation for a period of two years was unanimously approved. The work is performed by SIOA volunteers four times/year, and there is no cost to SIPOA to participate in the program.
  • A motion to establish a Special Committee to investigate and recommend procurement policies for various types of purchases made by SIPOA was unanimously approved. “Rationale:  This Special Committee, which would include membership from GOMC, Finance and Legal and other interested and experienced Property Owners, in consultation with key SIPOA Staff who do the actual work of procuring such services and implementing any recommended policies, will be tasked to review and recommend standards, policies and guidelines for SIPOA Committees and Staff to follow in the procurement of various types of larger purchases to ensure that there is a consistency of approach and both quality and financial controls are addressed and maintained.


Property Owner Q&A

Mr. Houff introduced the topic by describing a question he had received regarding an airplane that a Property Owner observed flying low over the beach on Sunday, August 6, 2017, reportedly spraying for mosquitoes.  Since the Town coordinates spraying with Charleston County, SIPOA referred the question to the Town for information and learned that there was no record of mosquito spraying that day (the County doesn’t usually spray on Sunday) and the beach is not an area in the spraying path.  SIPOA also contacted the FAA, but didn’t have enough specific information on the aircraft to obtain information.  Research on this issue is ongoing, and Mr. Houff requested that Property Owners who notice anything like this please report details to SIPOA.

Property Owners’ questions and comments related to the following topics:

  • Villa mailbox painting
  • Goal of having the new SIPOA-Club joint website (a cohesive, integrated place to access an island-wide event calendar, the gate pass system, links for real estate/rentals, etc.)
  • Lagoon maintenance and frequent flooding in certain areas
  • The need for additional signage outside the gate to inform drivers about barcode-only vs. visitor traffic lanes
  • Due diligence performed for selection of SIPOA’s new Auditor/Tax Preparer
  • Berkeley Electric response to flooding
  • Housing Subcommittee’s consistency with requirements set by the ARC Policies & Procedures manual


The next meeting of the SIPOA Board of Directors will be on Monday, November 13, at 1:00 pm.  (Note that this is a change from usual 3rd Monday schedule due to the Thanksgiving holiday.)


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