Mayor's Message - January 25, 2024

Hello! I hope your new year has started off in a good way.

Each year when we get to November 30th, I usually breathe a sigh of relief – as it’s the end of hurricane season. However, since then we have had significant storms in successive months that have wreaked some havoc. During the December storm which had an almost 10’ tide and 8” of rain, there were areas of our island that haven’t had water damage since Hurricane Hugo. It certainly highlighted some areas where the drainage infrastructure may need adjustments or improvements. We’ll use this opportunity to re-evaluate the design of upcoming drainage infrastructure projects to ensure we are enhancing the level of protection for our community. However, we must keep in mind that island-wide improvements to build infrastructure to withstand 100-year events may be cost-prohibitive. Improving drainage infrastructure remains one of our top priorities and we will prioritize projects that increase our community’s resilience to these storm events.

There are a lot of projects going on around our island. Here are a few highlights:

•Community Enrichment Plan – this important initiative continues to move forward. Almost 800 of you responded to the community survey and the results were recently reviewed by the City Council. The next step is to form a committee of residents, business owners, city leadership, and tourism experts who will be tasked to develop recommendations based on survey results that address livability and tourism management concerns and facilitate community enrichment on a continuous basis.

41st Ave drainage outfall project – project started in mid-January and will take about 4 months to complete. From Waterway Blvd to the Intracoastal Waterway, the ditch will be piped to help prevent flooding in this area and will create additional parking for our marina visitors.

•Wild Dunes Harbor golf course – The Resort ownership is investing $8+ million in a renovation and upgrade project from March to October. That course will be closed during that timeframe.

•Beach maintenance and restoration – emergency restoration efforts continue around Breach Inlet and Beachwood East to maintain a dune system to
protect property and maintain access to the beaches. The beneficial use project with the US Army Corps of Engineers project at Breach Inlet should start in mid to late February. This project will place almost 600,000 cubic yards of sand which will allow us to rebuild the dune system and address erosion from Breach Inlet to 10th Avenue.

•Wastewater treatment plant – our Water and Sewer Commission is finalizing their project to add capacity to the existing Forest Trail plant at 41st Ave. and Waterway Blvd. They will soon start the deconstruction of the plant in Wild Dunes.

I encourage you to get involved in the community and here are a few upcoming events to get on your calendar:

•Wild Child Triathlon – February 25 8:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. at Palmetto Hall at Wild Dunes Resort. IOP Law Enforcement Neighborhood Support (LENS) organization along with Wild Dunes Resort is sponsoring a kid’s triathlon for ages 6-12. More info can be found at

Front Beach Fest - March 2, 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Vendors, local restaurants, food trucks, children’s activities, and live entertainment.

•Golf Cart Safety Expo – March 9, 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Rec Center. Join the IOP Police Department and IOP Law Enforcement Neighborhood Support (LENS)Foundation to learn more about golf cart safety on the island.

Thank you for the opportunity to serve! See you around the island.

Phillip Pounds, Mayor IOP