The City’s service departments excel at meeting the needs of Isle of Palms residents and visitors: Police, Fire, Recreation, Public Works, and Building, Planning and Zoning. The General Government department, located in City Hall, oversees all operations and coordinates the capital improvements that City Council has successfully completed in recent years: the Public Safety Building (2009), the Marina Bulkhead (2009), the Beach Restoration Project (2008), Fire Station 2 (2007), the Recreation Center expansion (2004) and the Front Beach enhancement (2004). These necessary and worthwhile improvements, along with the daily operations of the City, have all been accomplished while maintaining a balanced budget and earning an improved bond rating for the benefit of City taxpayers. We are proud to show off these accomplishments and invite you to visit them in person.
The Isle of Palms Marina is located at the terminus of 41st Avenue, and the bulkhead is the retaining wall that separates the land from the water. By constructing a new bulkhead over the older bulkhead, the City improved the safety, functionality and aesthetics of its five-acre marina site. Take a walk along the bulkhead and enjoy the water. Stop into the Morgan Creek Grill for lunch and then rent a boat or jet ski. Learn more about the environment by enjoying an ecotour – a family favorite.
The new Public Safety Building, located at the corner of J.C. Long Boulevard and Pavilion Drive, houses both the Police Department and Fire Station 1. The building was carefully designed to last decades into the future and to accommodate the needs of the island’s thousands of residents and tens of thousands of visitors. Special attention was paid to environmental and training features of the building. “Green” features include a solar water-heating system, pervious concrete pavement, energy efficient HVAC and plumbing systems, and occupancy sensors to reduce use of electricity in unoccupied rooms. Fire Department training features include a training tower in the front stairwell for advanced hose training, high-level rope rescue and hosting equipment training. On the Police side, evidence storage and processing facilities as well as the telecommunications center are state-of-the-art. A common training room doubles as an Emergency Operations Center should the island experience an emergency. The best way to appreciate all the building’s features – including the kid-friendly “Sparky” room – is to stop by and take a tour!
When the island faced an acute erosion crisis on its northeast end, which threatened public safety and structures, I am proud to say that City Council and staff responded diligently and spearheaded efforts that solved the problem. The City coordinated cooperative efforts between affected parties, secured permits for beach resnourishment from regulatory agencies, created a web page to communicate about the project, won $900,000 in funding from Charleston County and $670,000 in grant funding from the state and oversaw construction during the project, which was permitted to place 885,000 cubic yards of sand on the beach from offshore sources. The total project cost was approximately $10 million. The City continues to execute three years worth of post-project monitoring, as required, to carefully observe the state of the beach. Of paramount importance during this project was the protection of our most famous annual visitors: loggerhead sea turtles.
Of course residents and visitors will benefit immensely from these City projects, but the island also offers innumerable natural amenities for all to enjoy and protect. Our beach has been awarded the Blue Wave Clean Beach award consecutively since 2002. The Intracoastal Waterway and adjacent marshlands offer a unique marine experience. Check the City Calendar and Recreation Department for information on the many events and festivals that occur on the island. Most of all, come visit and enjoy our piece of paradise. We hope you will want to move here.