Staying Laser Focused on our Goals
February 20, 2020
The Isle of Palms City Council has a full plate for 2020. As we have been discussing for years, and planning for months, we are set to start our Public Safety Building renovation in March. We have 5 mobile office trailers to house both the Police and Fire Department Headquarters. We have begun the relocation process and hooking the trailers to the utilities, cable, and such. The City's new 75' ladder truck will be delivered in the coming weeks plus our newly refurbished 95' ladder truck is in the final stages of completion. In addition, we continue to work with Thomas and Hutton on the final design and state and federal permitting process for the improvements to the 3 drainage outfalls located at the end of 30th, 36th and 41st Avenue. The construction of the drainage project is estimated at $2.9M.
The City is also waiting on the final set of permits for the IOP Marina dock rehabilitation project. The docks along Morgan Creek have exceeded the end of their useful life and need to be replaced. The City is working with Applied Technology Management who is developing the final drawings and specifications for the project. Once the US Army Corps of Engineers issues the final permit, the City will be able to complete the bid documents to competitively procure the construction of the repairs. The project will also include needed maintenance on the bulkhead. The goal is for construction to start after Labor Day. The construction of this project is estimated at $3.2M.
Last month, the City held a public workshop to gather feedback about the community's vision for the IOP Marina. We had a packed house and due to the fire code, we could not fit in the room everyone who wanted to participate. However, lots of folks submitted a written form at the meeting, and many others provided feedback via an online form available on the City's website www.iop.net. The City is working on compiling the results of the public comments, the written comments and the online questionnaires. It's not too late to go to www.iop.net and look under latest news at the top and fill out the questionnaire on what you, our residents, envision at the marina. The City wants what our residents want, it is not about any one council members' vision, but what our residents want.
The City is also going through a due diligence period for the restaurant lease. We feel confident we will be moving forward with something that will best suit our residents desire for a waterside dining spot.
This month, the City held the first budgeting workshop to discuss our goals for the next budget year and prioritize among the projects and needs the city is faced with in the next coming years. It is clear drainage remains at the top of the list. There were preliminary discussions about the possibility of pursuing a larger island wide drainage project. We know this is a priority for our community and we need to determine how to best approach it and how it will be funded. Other discussions included the rehabilitation of the Waterway Boulevard multi use path, and the future maintenance of the City-owned portion of Ocean Boulevard between 10th and 14th Avenue. There are all kinds of wish list items that some would like to have, but we need to take care of our needs first. Equally important to me, is that we ensure that we take care of our City family. It is getting tougher and tougher to compete with the growth of neighboring cities and their need for experienced and professional employees. We, as a City, need to constantly understand that the cost of living in our area is higher than the national average and is always going up. Most of our employees must travel significant distances to get to work and this travel is both time consuming and expensive. Our employees are the best. They are professionals that are committed to serving our community and we need to let them know that we support them and their needs.
The City needs to stay laser focused on all these important projects that will enhance and protect our quality of life, and on retaining our highly skilled and experienced personnel. We have the lowest tax millage around, and the City has not raised taxes for a number of years because we have always remained fiscally conservative. However, there comes a time when we need to increase revenues to pursue important projects and ensure the same level of service for our community.
Thank you for allowing me to serve as your Mayor and thank you for electing a great City Council.
Happy New Year!
January 15, 2020
The Isle of Palms City Council welcomed three new members earlier this month. Phillip Pounds, Kevin Popson and Rusty Streetman were sworn-in along Jimmy Ward who was reelected to serve on City Council. The City is lucky to have residents who want to volunteer their time to serve our great community. We have many challenges ahead of us and I am proud of the team the City has in place and happy with the direction the City is going.
New laws went into effect on the Isle of Palms as soon as the clock stroke midnight. We are proud to start a new decade as a plastic and smoke free beach! The Isle of Palms is our little piece of paradise and we all want to do everything we can to protect it and preserve it for generations to come.
Smoking cigarettes, cigars, pipes or other smoking devices used for the purpose of inhaling and exhaling smoke, such as vaping devices, is prohibited on the Isle of Palms beach and beach access paths. Also, citizens will no longer be able to bring and use single-use plastic bags, plastic straws, Polystyrene (Styrofoam) food containers, cups and balloons on the Isle of Palms beach. These regulations are aimed at improving our environment by reducing litter and encouraging the use of reusable, recyclable and compostable products. Plastic and foam products filter into our waterways and the ocean, where they are harmful to marine life. The City's goal is not to be punitive but encourage and ensure a cleaner, safer, healthier and more enjoyable environment for people, wildlife and marine life.
On Thursday, January 30th, the City will hold a community marina workshop at the Recreation Center to gather feedback from the community about their vision for the Isle of Palms Marina. City Council views the implementation of the community's vision for the marina as part of our legacy and something the island's residents will be proud of and enjoy for years to come. The community workshop will be collaborative session where participants will be assigned to work groups gathered at round tables with a facilitator who will record feedback and ideas. This structure of meeting will allow everyone who attends to be equally heard and share their vision. The workshop will begin at 5:30 p.m. at the Recreation Center. If you are unable to attend, you may still share your vision by filling out this form.
As you know, the existing marina restaurant lease expires later this year. After following the request for proposal process, last month City Council voted to enter exclusive negotiations with the IOP Families Group (Lorenz's & Bushnell's) for a new lease and begin a 90-day due diligence period. Their vision for a family friendly restaurant offering modern casual dining resonated with the community and with City Council.
If you haven't already, please apply for the 2020 Resident Parking Permit. This permit will allow you to legally park your vehicle along the public right of way in the Residential Parking District from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Residents and property owners may apply online at here or at the Public Safety Building located at 30 J C Long Boulevard. The new regulations state that vehicles must parallel park at least 4 feet off the pavement when parking in the public right-of-way along Palm Boulevard between 41st and 53rd Avenue.
Keep up with official City businesses by vising the City's website at www.iop.net and the official Facebook and Twitter accounts.