Hello, I hope your spring is going well. The weather has been fantastic lately! When you think of things that have been around for the last 50 years, what comes to mind? At our last City Council meeting we recognized the Windjammer for their 50th anniversary. Quite an accomplishment for them. What a jewel for IOP to have this venue for this long. Thank you to all involved over the 50 years that started it, worked there, ate and attended events there. Spring brings the task of drafting the annual budget for our City. We do this via an ordinance which has to be read twice at City Council meetings and includes a time for a Public Hearing. I’m thrilled to say there will be no tax increase for this next fiscal year keeping our millage rate one of the lowest in the area. The proposed FY23 budget is available at iop.net and a public hearing is scheduled for 5:45 p.m., May 24.
We are budgeting for revenue of $22.5 million and expenses of $23.9 million.
Some items included in the budget are:
• Construction of Phase 3 drainage at 30th and 36th Avenue outfalls
• Completion of Comprehensive Drainage Master plan
• Improvements to the T-docks along the Intracoastal Waterway at the marina
• Design and permitting for expanded public dock • Maintain, renovate or construct beach access paths
• Reconstruct and reconfigure outdoor basketball courts and construct two pickleball courts a the Rec Center
What’s the Latest?
Drainage – Construction of two of three major projects – the outfalls at 30th and 36th – will start in early May. This work will disrupt part of the Harbor Golf course and require road closures during August for Waterway and 30th and during October for Waterway and 36th. We will be posting notices to our residents in these areas and via social media as we get closer to these dates.
Marina – the City recently had our walk-through inspection for substantial completion of the Dock Rehab project. There are a few remaining punch list items, but this project is essentially completed. The new restaurant, Islander 71, should be open shortly after this article is printed. Lastly, we recently received a letter requesting approval of assignment of the existing leases held by Marina Joint Ventures, Inc. and Marina Outpost, LLC with the City of Isle of Palms to Morgan Creek LLC, same ownership group that owns Bohicket and Seabreeze marinas. Any assignment requires the City’s prior consent. We have begun our due diligence review process. Much more to come on this latest development.
Why all the changes?
Do the words go together – efficiency and local government? They can and should. In the business world – businesses of any size – must continually change, look for new sources of revenue, innovate, improve, look for efficiencies, and think of ways to do things differently to survive. The same should be done in local government – even though our revenue is somewhat secure and steady and we’re providing services and not products. Some of these business principles listed above should be applicable to running our city government. That’s why I’m suggesting we look at a few items that can bring efficiencies and streamline some areas of our government. I don’t know if they will move forward or be approved, but I think with these changes we can create some time for our Council and staff, especially our Department Heads to be more focused on strategic initiatives and projects. I’m not suggesting change for the sake of change, rather looking for ways to make us more efficient and effective and help us keep pace with current government practices and trends. One of these items – replacing our committee structure with workshops – was approved at our most recent City Council meeting. We will implement it starting July 1 for a trial period of six months.
May 7 – Day in the Park – Music and Movie 3-7 p.m. Bring your lawn chair and your appetite for an afternoon of good music and good food in the park. Musical performances by local bluegrass bands and local food trucks on site.
Coffee with the Mayor – At 9 a.m. on the last Friday of every month, I am hosting coffee dates with residents who wish to talk about City projects, issues and concerns. To support local businesses, the locations will rotate around venues on our island. You can find information for upcoming meetings on the IOP website Calendar (IOP.net) under Upcoming Events.
Thank you for the opportunity to serve. See you around the island!
Phillip Pounds, Mayor