By Pat O’Neil for The Island Eye News
Dear Island Neighbors,
2020: IT WAS A BUSY YEAR FOR SULLIVAN’S ISLAND, OUR HOMETOWN
No doubt the year that recently (and thankfully) exited the stage was exhausting for nearly everyone. Our great Town employees may well have felt the same way, and they certainly earned it, what with their multitude of accomplishments during the challenges of the year. They should all take pride in their achievements, and the Mayor and Council can take pride in the dedicated and knowledgeable staff that did these things (while we may try to claim the credit!).
Here are just some of the Town’s 2020 accomplishments, compiled by our able and committed Town Administrator, Andy Benke, who has led the efforts that resulted in them:
1. First and foremost: Keeping the Island safe during the Pandemic, including the many efforts to prevent our beach from becoming a super-spreader venue. This was/is an ongoing effort by all our departments: Police, Fire, Maintenance, Administration and Legal. Perhaps most noteworthy and challenging was the manning of the checkpoint when it became necessary to limit access to the Island as a means of preventing a Spring Break situation that could have become a huge public health problem for the entire Charleston area. And then it was the intense efforts to enforce the beach (and other) restrictions necessitated by the pandemic. In all of this our staff, especially Police, encountered unfortunate and not infrequent pushback by many of the folks we were trying to protect.
2. We commenced construction of two seriously important infrastructure projects for our wastewater (sewage) system: a major upgrade of our wastewater treatment plant behind Town Hall, and replacement of our lift stations which are so critical to get the discharge from our houses to that treatment plant.
3. Our Fire Department placed a much-needed new pumper truck into service.
4. The Town began design work and selected a contractor for a major, necessary upgrade of our Fire Station and a long-overdue equipment storage facility to be built behind the Fire Station.
5. Grant funding was secured for a number of important initiatives:
a) Charleston County Greenbelt grant for replacement of dune walkover at Station 18
b) Support to Police Department for needed equipment
c) Support (County Parks and Recreation Department) of new adult outdoor fitness recreation equipment installed in Stith Park
d) Partial grant funding and SCDOT approval for a new pedestrian crosswalk at the intersection of Station 22 ½ (causeway) and Jasper (across from Durst Clinic)
e) Funding for FEMA mitigation
6. Work continued on a FEMA grant for stormwater relief at Station 18/Atlantic.
7. A new dune walkover was installed at Station 27.
8. Our Maintenance Department acquired a new tractor suited for work on beach walkovers and ditches.
9. Due to ongoing safety training efforts, we obtained a lower rate on our worker’s compensation insurance.
REMINDER: CAUSEWAY SPEED LIMIT IS WAY LOWER ‘CAUSE OF CONSTRUCTION
Don’t forget that the speed limit on the entire causeway is lowered for the new Mount Pleasant water main construction project. Although the work is occurring on the Mount Pleasant section of the causeway, where the speed limit is now 30 mph, the speed limit has also been lowered on the Island side as well.
ANOTHER REMINDER: SULLIVAN’S ISLAND MUNICIPAL ELECTION, MAY 4!
The Island will have an important election on Tuesday, May 4, 2021. On the ballot will be three Council seats and the Mayor seat.
To vote you must be registered to vote on the Island as of April 3, 2021. If you are eligible to register to vote on the Island, but NOT YET REGISTERED, you must register in-person at the Charleston County Board of Elections and Voter Registration office no later than April 2, 2021. Or, if you wish to apply by mail to register, your application to the board must be POSTMARKED no later than April 3, 2021. Here is where you can get info on registering to vote: bit.ly/ChasCoVote
Absentee voting is permitted, but please note that this election follows the longstanding requirements for absentee voting, not the more relaxed Covid-inspired rules we followed in November. Here is where you can get info on absentee voting: http://bit.ly/ChasCoAbVote
See you around the Island!