By Susan Hill Smith, Island Eye News Staff Writer
Isle of Palms City Council is moving forward with improvements to the city’s Public Works site on the island with a vote at council’s Dec. 6 meeting to award a $756,000 contract to Hitt Contracting for the work.
The improvements are needed to bring the site into compliance with National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System requirements related to the EPA’s Clean Water Act, mostly by better managing pollutants that result when the city washes down vehicles, like garbage trucks, and temporarily stores “white goods,” like old appliances, until they can be taken to a landfill. Without proper systems in place, stormwater and other runoff pose a risk of contamination to nearby creeks and waterways.
The total project cost is estimated to be $841,700 when taking into account an already existing management contract with Thomas & Hutton and a 10-percent construction contingency fund. It’s anticipated that the Charleston County Stormwater Fund will cover $471,200 of that.
The bid came in twice what was originally budgeted. City Administrator Linda Tucker explained that construction companies are “extremely busy” now and that the city had to extend its bidding deadline to attract a second bidder on the project.
The council’s Public Works Committee did not make a recommendation on whether to award the contract. Committee Chairman Jimmy Ward has previously pushed to explore moving the Public Works site off the island and selling that land for commercial purposes, which he has suggested could boost the tax base.
During the meeting, Councilmember Jimmy Carroll asked whether the costs and feasibility of moving the Public Works site off the island had been explored. Public Works Director Donnie Pitts stepped up and explained that he and Building, Planning and Housing Director Douglas Kerr had looked into it a couple of years ago but did not locate any property to pursue. “I don’t think there’s any in Mount Pleasant, and I think the closest place you would probably be able to find it would be in Cainhoy somewhere,” Pitts told the council.
If the city’s Public Works site was moved off the island, Pitts anticipated that slow-moving Caterpillar equipment that picks up debris would have to be transported back and forth on an 18-wheeler. When Ward suggested there might be industrial property might be available by the State Ports Authority, Pitts brought up potential permitting concerns.
In the end, the council voted 7-1 to award the contract with Ward voting against and Sandy Ferencz not present.
The meeting also included an audit presentation for fiscal year 2016 by Justin Kiddy and Lindsay Flynn of McCay, Kiddy & Associates. The firm gave the city a clean audit for FY 2016.
Council also voted 8-0 to re-appoint Stirling Halversen as city attorney and Julia Copeland as assistant city attorney in 2017, and took care of committee appointments and set meeting dates for next year.
2017 MEETING SCHEDULE
City Council typically holds regular meetings one evening a month, on a Tuesday, at Isle of Palms City Hall. These regular meetings are open to the public and also videotaped, with videos available to see online through iop.net, and on Comcast Cable.
Here are 2017 dates and times for council’s regular monthly meetings, plus meetings of the Ways and Means Committee, which includes all council members. Additional meetings may be scheduled.
These dates do not include meetings of council committees for Public Safety, Public Works, Real Property, Recreation and Personnel.
• Jan. 17: Ways & Means Committee, 5 p.m.
• Jan. 24: City Council, 6 p.m.
• Feb. 21: Ways & Means, 5 p.m.
• Feb. 28: Ways & Means, 5 p.m.; City Council, 6 p.m.
• March 21: Special budget session 5 p.m.; followed by Ways & Means and City Council
• April 18: Ways & Means, 5 p.m.
• April 25: City Council, 6 p.m.
• May 16: Ways & Means, 5 p.m.
• May 23: Budget public hearing, 5;45 p.m.; City Council, 6 p.m.
• June 20: Ways & Means, 5 p.m.; City Council, 6 p.m,
• July 18: Ways & Means, 5 p.m.; City Council, 6 p.m.
• Aug. 15: Ways & Means 5 p.m.
• Aug. 22: City Council, 6 p.m.
• Sept. 19: Ways & Means, 5 p.m.
• Sept. 26: City Council, 6 p.m.
• Oct. 24: Ways & Means, 5 p.m.; City Council, 6 p.m.
• Nov. 28: Ways & Means, 5 p.m.; City Council, 6 p.m.
• Dec. 5: Special City Council, 6 p.m.
Committee Appointments: 2017 Isle of Palms City Council committee appointments will remain the same:
Ways and Means Committee: Mayor Dick Cronin, Barbara Bergwerf, J. Martin Bettelli, Jimmy Carroll, Sandy Ferencz, Ted Kinghorn, Patrick Harrington, Carol Rice and Jimmy Ward.
Public Safety: Bergwerf, Bettelli, Carroll
Public Works: Ferencz, Kinghorn, Ward
Real Property: Bergwerf, Harrington, Rice
Recreation: Carroll, Kinghorn, Rice
Personnel: Bettelli, Ferencz, Harrington
Additional meetings may be scheduled. Notices and agendas are posted on the City Council pages of iop.net.