By Amy Mercer, Island Eye News Editor
Congratulations to SIES 4th grader Piper Hamrick who “nailed it” leading the Pledge of Allegiance at the Fort Moultrie Quarter Launch event in November.
The first 20 minutes of every Town Council meeting are reserved for public comment, and the new parking signs brought a handful of residents to the first meeting of the new year.
One resident indicated that there were too many signs, another resident advocated for another sign to be installed on his block and a third resident advocated for more parking set-back from intersections plus a posted speed of not more than 25mph on Middle Street. Council accepted the comments as information.
There was a proposal from councilmember Mark Howard for a plaque listing all of Sullivan’s Island’s current and previous Mayoral terms of service to be displayed in the new Town Hall.
Mark Howard also suggested adding the parking plan onto the town website. Town Administrator Andy Benke said they are installing signs now and that DOT will create an island wide parking map that will go on the website. The town is overhauling the website and the parking map will be featured there. Staff is developing, in conjunction with sc.gov, a new municipal website. Anticipating website design and layout completion in early Feb. Web content development will follow.
Under “Matters Pending Further Action Taken by Council” it was reported that a new software program is in development. The stated goal of the Mobile 311 program is to allow the public to communicate with staff in a variety of new ways. It will incorporate various new services and communication options between Staff and the public, increasing efficiency.
Continuing on the thread of technology upgrades, Susan Middaugh, chairperson of the Water & Sewer committee reported that new billing software will go into place in August. Movement on the water utility fence is on hold until the stump removal takes place.
Public Safety chairperson Chauncey Clark reported that the new parking signs are proving to be controversial. He also reminded attendees of the annual Sullivan’s Island Fire and Rescue Oyster Roast on Feb. 4.
Recreation department chair, Sarah Church was absent from the meeting, but Susan Middaugh reported in her place that the Island Club contract needs to be reviewed and renovation to the club would start this month.
There will be a St. Patrick’s Day event for families in Stith Park on Saturday, March 18. Battery Gadsden will host historian Roy Williams at the Fort Moultrie amphitheater on February 16 at 6 p.m. The location was changed because of winter temperatures. The Farmers Market is planning for the upcoming season and is accepting vendor applications.
It was also reported that the annual Sullivan’s Island Marsh Clean-Up has been rescheduled to Saturday, Feb. 4th.
The year end police report shows that 12 juveniles and 40 adults were arrested in 2016 for a variety of offenses.
Bachman Smith IV, chairperson of Public Facilities, reported that work is being done to plan for hanging art in the Town Hall.
The meeting was adjourned as council headed into the Executive Session to discuss several legal matters including the American Tower Property Lease Agreement, and a Zoning Ordinance. A vacancy in the Water and Sewer Department was also discussed.
Looking ahead, election season has opened. Candidates may file to run up until Thursday, February 16, at 12 noon. Visit the town website: www.sullivansislandsc.com for more information.