By Emma Woodham, Island Eye News Staff Writer
Prior to Isle of Palms City Council’s regularly scheduled meeting, a public hearing was held for Ordinance 2018-13, which relates to a new definition for impervious material. Only one island resident spoke about the proposed ordinance, and it was passed unanimously.
Following the conclusion of the hearing, the regular meeting was called to order. All members of Council were present and after the invocation and Pledge of Allegiance, the minutes from the previous council meeting were approved unanimously, and Mayor Jimmy Carroll opened the floor to citizens’ comments.
Christine Donovan, who also spoke about parking ticket issues at the July council meeting, addressed Council again. She believes that the Isle of Palms Police Department does a great job, but she and many of her neighbors are growing frustrated with the way that the Police Department is being directed with regards to parking enforcement. She and her neighbors and their guests are receiving many unnecessary parking tickets, she believes.
“It’s starting to feel like unreasonable harassment of residents,” Donovan said.
Nadine Deif, a resident of Hartnett Blvd., is also concerned about the parking enforcement. She added that she feels as if there has been a lot more policing of parking on the island and hiring more officers.
Councilmember Jimmy Ward presented the Ways & Means report with several different items on the agenda. A motion was made to approve a contract to Applied Management Technology for the design, engineering, and permitting of the IOP Marina docks rehabilitation.
The second item was the award of a contract to Circle H Land Services, LLC for supplying, planting, and fertilizing dune vegetation in areas of the City’s recently restored beach. All Councilmembers were in favor of both these items.
The third item on the agenda was the approval of using a metal detector for security at Council meetings and paying a security officer $200 for four hours.
Because this was a relatively new item that had not been discussed extensively yet, Council decided to defer and send it back to Public Safety.
Three more contracts—one for the award of a contract to L3 Mobile-Vision for flashback HD camera systems, one for Technology Solutions of Charleston for the replacement of City computer network uninterrupted power supply located in the Public Safety building, and one for American Dock and Marine Construction to replace damaged and missing floats under marina docks—were all approved unanimously.
A motion was made to consider the award of a sole source contract to Hughes Motors for the purchase of a flatbed truck and a garbage truck.
Councilmember Randy Bell expressed his concern over the fact that no call for bids was put out for these trucks. Interim City Administrator Desiree Fragoso informed Council that only two companies in South Carolina sell these trucks and that Hughes has a location here in Charleston, which would be helpful with maintenance. All Councilmembers voted to approve the purchase except for Councilmember Bell.
Councilmember Ward presented the recommendation to purchase a beach cleaner, but this item was deferred for further discussion.
The final item on the Ways & Means agenda was the consideration of a trailer rental for the fire department personnel. Many members of the fire department administrative staff have complained of eye irritation and respiratory discomfort while working on the second floor of the Public Safety building. Several worker’s compensation claims have already been filed, and the staff suspect that fumes from the truck bay below may be causing the health issues. S&ME conducted an air quality study, and found slightly elevated levels of carbon monoxide on the second floor. All councilmembers voted to approve the cost of renting a trailer for the fire department’s administrative staff.
Councilmember Susan Hill Smith reported from the Public Safety Committee, and the first topic of discussion was the proposed changes to the Visitor Daily Parking Passes and the recommendation that the City give residents two booklets of passes. Council’s ultimate decision was to award residents the additional booklets this year, but have the Public Safety Committee look at more drastic changes to the passes for next year.
Requiring all dogs—whether visiting or belonging to residents—to be licensed on the island was discussed next. Currently, all island residents are required to license their dogs, but the recommendation is that all dog-owners who have a dog on the island must show proof of rabies vaccination and obtain a license.
“Nothing will change for residents,” Councilmember Bell pointed out.
Councilmember Smith suggested that the owners of visiting dogs only be required to provide documentation of rabies vaccination upon request, but Councilmember Bell told Smith that what she was proposing was an amendment to the proposed ordinance. Councilmember Carol Rice asked how enforceable this new ordinance would really be.
“It’s a worthy effort, but it’s unrealistic. We currently have around 300 dogs registered on this island, and we have way more than that residing on the island,” Rice said.
Ultimately, Smith’s amendment did not pass, but the original motion passed, though four members of Council voted against it.
Councilmember Rice updated Council on the Public Works Committee, noting that the Phase II Drainage project should be completed around mid-November. The Committee will also be discussing the possible need for beach cleanup equipment at the next meeting, a topic that was deferred earlier in the meeting during the Ways & Means report.
Councilmember Ryan Buckhannon, Chair of the Recreation Committee, reported that many of the summer camps and programs are wrapping up, but there are a lot of events coming up. He also noted that the Farmers Market will begin next week and will be every Thursday September through October from 3-7 p.m.
Councilmember Sandy Ferencz reported that the Personnel Committee has hired the search firm for the open positions. The firm will begin the search to fill these positions soon.
In the Real Property report, Councilmember Bell reminded residents that Tidalwave Watersports is hosting Residents’ Day on Sept. 8.
The last item of business was the second reading of Ordinance 2018-13, which had been discussed in the Public Hearing prior to the meeting. All members of the council approved.
The next regular meeting of the Isle of Palms City Council will be on Sept. 25 at 6 p.m.