I hope and wish that everyone had a great holiday season and brought in 2019 with optimism. The Isle of Palms started 2018 with a new Council that is aware of our challenges and remains committed to forward thinking.
The City has begun working on the FY20 budget process earlier than ever. The Ways and Means Committee held the first Budget Workshop in December where we discussed the City’s current financial situation and economic outlook. There are several key projects that the City must address in the next several years. For example, the Public Safety Building needs significant repairs. The City has awarded a contract to Trident Construction to undertake Phase I of this rehabilitation project. Phase I involves inspecting the building and conducting selective, exploratory demolition to determine the source of the issues to then develop a construction strategy for the repairs.
Also, improving the drainage infrastructure remains one of our top priorities. Thomas and Hutton is working on the design of the improvements to three of the island’s major outfalls located at the end of 30th Avenue, 36th Avenue and 41st Avenue. Once the outfalls are improved, the City still has a lot of work to do in the canals and drainage systems that take the water to the basins of the outfalls. The cost of the Phase III Drainage project is estimated at $4M.
City Council is not only evaluating all revenue sources available to the City but will also address expenses. This month, City Council approved changing the parking rates of the Municipal Parking Lots and the metered on-street parking on Ocean Blvd. Between March 1 and October 31, the parking fees in the Municipal parking lot will be $10 Monday-Friday and $12 Saturday, Sunday and Holidays. The hourly rate for on-street parking will be $2.00 per hour, a .50¢ increase. It is estimated that parking rate changes will increase the City’s parking revenues by approximately $313,000.
As we move forward in the FY20 budget process, I encourage all of you to stay engaged with your councilmembers and your local government. Stay connected via the City’s website at IOP.net where we post the meeting agendas, minutes, videos and audio. We promise to be transparent every step of the way with everything facing us going forward.
Don’t miss any of the upcoming special events! The award winning Doggie Day at the Rec is coming up on Saturday, Feb. 9 at 9 a.m. We’ll be offering rabies vaccinations ($10), microchips ($30), IOP dog licenses ($5), and so much more. Coming up on Mar. 9 is the all-time favorite, Front Beach Fest starting at noon. The Shem Creek Boogie Band and the Blackwater Rhythm and Blues Band are set to perform.
Jimmy Carroll, Mayor