By Meredith Poston, Island Eye News Staff Writer
The June Sullivan’s Island Town Council meeting was a notable one, as Council bid farewell to member Susan Middaugh. Middaugh, who has been a Sullivan’s Island resident for the past 39 years, was elected to council in 2013, but lost her seat in last May’s election. In addition to serving on council, Middaugh has served as Chair of the Water & Sewer Committee, as a member of the Recreation and Administration Committees, and on the Sullivan’s Island Board of Zoning Appeals.
As the meeting began with public comments, thanks to Middaugh were made by attending residents for “her hard, hard work and service to the island.” Later in the meeting, Middaugh was awarded a resolution by the Town Council for her service and commitment to the town.
In addition to the public commentary concerning Middaugh’s resignation, a long-residing islander spoke of persisting drainage issues, asking for assistance from the town in coordinating with the appropriate public service committees to investigate the problem and, “see if we can’t get something accomplished.”
A resident raised concern regarding an increase in coyote sightings. This issue was later discussed by council, who has received letters from both vacationers and residents expressing gratitude for quick response when making report of animal sightings.
Following general comments, minutes from May and June meetings were approved. Next on the agenda was the third reading and ratification for several ordinances. These included an ordinance to amend zoning regulations regarding Certificates of Appropriateness for the historic design review process; an ordinance to adopt the water and sewer utility budget which went into effect on July 1 through June 30, 2018; and an ordinance to adopt the proposed budget for the next fiscal year, beginning July 1 through June 30, 2018.
There were several other proposals that came to final resolution during the June meeting. The resolution to increase water and sewer fees was passed unanimously, in a motion to “raise rates to more accurately reflect said expenses.” Next was the resolution for the People Against Rape organization, which is dedicated to providing support to organizations that provide assistance to victims of rape crimes. In addition to approving proposed funding for the People Against Rape, the Town of Sullivan’s Island also approved a similar funding proposal for the National Crime Victims Research and Treatment Center.
Next on the agenda was the swearing in of Council members, as well as appointing members to the various Town Committees. Council members Chauncey Clark, Sarah Church, and Tim Reese were officially sworn into their seats on Sullivan’s Island Town Council. Councilman Chauncey Clark was appointed the Mayor Pro Tempore, to serve in the absence of the Town Mayor Patrick O’Neil. Mayor O’Neil was re-elected in May.
Discussion was made regarding possible South Carolina Electric and Gas supported solar energy advancements. In August, the SCE&G will begin a solar panel option, termed “community solar,” which allows customers to select solar panels over traditional electric alternatives. Clean Energy Collective, the solar energy firm working with SCE&G on this project, spoke about the upcoming solar utilities that will be offered.
The Council then spoke about the ongoing Town drainage issues, determining that improvements are to be made concerning flooding and standing water problems. A decision on what advancements are necessary is estimated to be made by October of this year.
The next Town Council meeting will be held on Tuesday, July 18, at 6 p.m. at the Sullivan’s Island Town Hall.