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SI Town Council

Sullivan’s Island Town Council

Staff Report

Paving the way

Council member Madeleine McGee met with Transportation Secretary Buck Limehouse to discuss several aspects of Sullivan’s Island traffic, including Middle Street repaving and traffic control devices. While the information had not been officially confirmed, McGee related that Middle Street repaving is not expected to begin until January of 2010, nearly a year after it was expected to start. Mayor Carl Smith blamed the delay on 1st Congressional District Commissioner Danny Isaac, remarking that Department of Transportation (DOT) funds which were supposed to be used to repave Middle Street were diverted to the area around Isaac’s home on Myrtle Beach.

On another matter, McGee discussed the possibility of installing four-way pedestrian crosswalks at key intersections, as well as lowering the speed limit on Jasper Boulevard to 30mph. If the speed limit was lowered to 30mph, it would allow street-legal golf carts to legally travel from Sullivan’s Island all the way to Wild Dunes on Isle of Palms.

Back it up

The presentation of the Commercial District Master Plan is still being delayed by the “reverse-angle” parking aspect of the plan. Reverse-angle parking works the same as standard parking, except that it is designed so that vehicles can to pull into the space in reverse. The design is supposed to make it easier and safer for a car to leave the space and enter the flow of traffic. Sullivan’s Island would be the first municipality to have reverse-angle parking in the state of South Carolina. However, the State’s Department of Transportation does not seem willing to permit reverse-angle parking. Council member Madeleine McGee suggested that the Town start looking at alternatives. Council member Pat O’Neil suggested that the Town present the idea as a test, which might make it easier for the DOT to swallow. No definitive date has been set for the presentation of the Commercial District Master Plan to island residents.

Marine Patrol

Police Chief Danny Howard stated that Sullivan’s Island may be co-operating with Charleston County in the future on the County’s marine patrol division. The County, he says, is trying to work with various local municipalities in order to get some extra manpower for the patrol. While the County has plenty of equipment, including boats and helicopters, there is a relative shortage of people to operate the equipment. In exchange for offering a policeman to be trained and available for marine patrol, Sullivan’s Island would also have certain rights to the County’s marine patrol equipment. Furthermore, the Town will have an extra person who can operate a boat in an emergency situation because of the training.

Want to serve?

The Town announced that several Board and Commission seats are up for re-appointment and interested persons have until August 13 to turn in an application. It was stressed that an incumbent who wants to serve again is not automatically reinstated, which means every seat is up for re-appointment. Interested persons should contact Town Hall at 883-3198 for more information.

A happy ending

The Town Council applauded the terrific handling of the Town budget in these tough economic times, as Sullivan’s Island is ending the fiscal year with a $238,000 surplus. That’s a lot of cornbread.

(IN A BOX)

McGee catches Sabbath Tax

Novice Council member Madeleine McGee recently discovered a potential $12,000 oversight in the Town’s budget when she asked about a particular section of the budget about which no one was certain.

It turned out to be sum of Sabbath alcohol tax collections. When restaurants and bars obtain a permit to serve alcohol, they are only permitted to serve it six days a week: Monday through Friday and one day during the weekend. In order to serve alcohol on the seventh day, a restaurant has to pay an additional $3000 every year.

In the Town’s budget, McGee noticed $9000 under an ambiguous heading. It turned out to be the amount collected for the Sabbath Tax, which accounted for only three restaurants that had paid. However, there are more than three restaurants that serve alcohol all week on the island.

No one could be sure at the time of the Town Council meeting on July 21 where the money was; whether it had been put in an inappropriate part of the budget or if it had been paid at all. Jason Blanton, the Town’s Comptroller, has been charged with investigating the matter.

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