Dear Island Neighbors,
Lots o’ items this month, so let’s dive in.
BACK IN PERSON AND OPEN FOR BUSINESS
In case you missed it, Town Hall is completely back to normal as far as being open to everyone who needs to be there for services or business. Council and all our boards and commissions are back to in-person meetings. While this means that you can no longer observe the meetings on Zoom and sign up to offer comments realtime via that platform, you can still watch our Town Council meetings via streaming from bit. ly/SIMeetings, all other meetings are available for viewing after 24 hours on the Town website.
However, please remember that you have many other means of communicating your concerns to Council and staff:
1. You can send an email to frontdesk@ sullivansisland.sc.gov . Indicate in the subject the general topic, and in the message you can indicate any specific person or group you wish it forwarded to.
2. You can attend our meetings in person and follow that body’s procedures for providing input. For example, if you wish to address Council during public comments time at our regular meeting on the third Tuesday of the month, you may email Bridget Welch at email@example.com , with your name and address, in advance (noon of the meeting day) or simply sign up when you arrive before the meeting.
3. To send an email to all of Council, if you don’t want to have to provide all the addresses separately, you can use the “frontdesk” email above, or send your email to Bridget Welch or Town Administrator Andy Benke asking them to distribute your email.
LOOKING FOR SEVERAL GOOD ISLANDERS
If you’ve ever wanted to get involved in matters related to Town government, but didn’t know how, now’s your big chance to stick a toe in the waters. We have upcoming openings on all of our five main Town Boards and Commissions: Design Review Board, Planning Commission, Municipal Election Commission, Tree Commission, and Board of Zoning Appeals.
Each body has its own important, well-delineated area of responsibility.
Without the willingness of our talented citizens to serve on them, we would not be able to fulfill the Town’s responsibilities to our citizens. Terms are expiring on each Board. Incumbents are always welcome to apply for re-appointment, but not all incumbents will do so, and sometimes Council decides to bring in some new talent on a board or commission. In any case, please consider applying, and if you don’t get appointed this time, watch this space next year when more openings will occur. You can also apply for more than one board/commission, and feel free to rank your choices. For more information, please go to bit.ly/BandCApplication.
THANKS FOR THE CAUSEWAY FLOWER BED, YARD WORKS
Yard Works (you’ve seen the trucks), owned by Islanders Laurie and Dawn Ulmer, has continued to brighten our entry sign on the causeway. They generously provide and maintain the flower bed there, a refreshing display of color whenever we return home. Please thank them.
THE PART OF YOUR FRONT YARD THAT THE HIGHWAY DEPARTMENT OWNS
Many of us may forget that part of what we consider our front yards actually belongs to SC DOT. In other words, it may be part of the right of way for the street that we front. For those with street-to-street lots, this may apply to the back yard as well, and for corner lots, perhaps the side yard also. Don’t expect this to cut your lawn service bill, though. DOT will not send a crew to cut their part.
However, the state does require that the right of way be honored and kept free of impediments. In fact, the S. 40 bill recently enacted by the State (the one introduced by Sen. Larry Grooms that got much publicity for its limits on beach towns’ ability to manage parking) also contains a provision making it illegal to obstruct these rights of way. So if you have things in that right of way along your property that do obstruct parking or drainage, please remove them. And our Fire and Maintenance Chief Anthony Stith likewise asks you to keep “your” right of way clear, especially at intersections, where interfering with drivers’, bikers’ and pedestrians’ views can create a real safety hazard.
SPEAKING OF THE FIRE DEPARTMENT
You may have noticed that our fire station next to Town Hall is missing a) fire trucks and b) firefighters. Don’t despair, everyone is still very much on the job. They have temporarily moved to the Fish Fry Shack (at Station 15 and Hennessey), which has been upfitted and accompanied by a trailer to provide a functional headquarters while the existing station is completely renovated. It will be largely taken down to its bones and rebuilt to create a facility that is up to 21st century public safety standards. We are also constructing a new storage building behind the station that will replace the current structure there. The demolition of the current station will start this month. The entire project should be completed 14 months from then. Town Administrator Andy Benke says, “While the construction site itself is closed to the public, you may stop by Town Hall to learn about project details. The station will complement Town Hall nicely and serve the community for many decades.” To which I would add, it will also provide our top-notch Fire Department staff and volunteers with quarters and facilities appropriate to the quality of service they afford us!
See you around the Island!
Pat O’Neil, Mayor