May 24 2018

Bridge Closure May Affect Holiday Traffic

By Emma Woodham, Staff Writer for The Island Eye News

The May meeting of the Sullivan’s Island Town Council was unusually brief.

Councilmembers Mark Howard and Tim Reese were absent, leaving only five members of the council present. Mayor Pat O’Neil opened the meeting by congratulating Sullivan’s Island Police Officer Sydney DeNett on her recent graduation from the Police Academy in Columbia, SC.

After minutes from April’s meeting were approved unanimously, Mayor O’Neil read the National Safe Boating Week proclamation, adding that the U.S. Coast Guard asked the Town of Sullivan’s Island and others like it to assist in raising awareness of all safety measures for boating. Mayor O’Neil felt the proclamation was very relevant, given that Sullivan’s is an island.

Next on the agenda was the first reading of Ordinance 2018- 03. Mayor O’Neil read the entire title of the ordinance, apologizing for it’s length, before explaining that the ordinance is part of the process to obtain funding for the updates to the Water Treatment Facility on the island.

 In his Mayor’s Report, O’Neil had nothing new to add except that the Wando Bridge issues may lead to reduced traffic on the island in the coming weekends, if the bridge remains closed.

“We could see a thinner crowd for Memorial Day,” O’Neil said.

Town Administrator Andy Benke had nothing new to add except that the fire station rehabilitation is moving right along smoothly. He also informed those present that he participated in a conference call with Charleston County regarding the bridge closure and the impacts it’s having on surrounding areas, including Sullivan’s Island. He recommended routes to use for anyone commuting off the island who would normally drive over the Wando River bridge.

The Finance committee had nothing new to report, but Mayor O’Neil reminded councilmembers that the Fiscal Year 2019 Budget deadline is approaching.

In the Water & Sewer report, Councilmember Bachman Smith said that letters will soon go out to water and sewer customers regarding the rate increase. The increase is primarily due to a rise in the cost of living.

The Public Safety, Recreation, Land Use & Natural Resources, and Administration committees had nothing new to report, and Councilmember Howard was not present to speak about the Public Facilities committee. Councilmember Smith, also a member of that committee, provided an update on the fire station work. He had been reaching out to various engineers who will provide a proposal for the work based on the inspection report.

With no further business, the meeting was adjourned. The next meeting of the Sullivan’s Island Town Council will be on Tuesday, June 19 at 6 p.m.

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