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Rain, Rain, Go Away!

August 3, 2018

The summer of 2018 rainfall has broken records going back to 1957. While good for farming in some areas of the state, the rainfall has been a major headache for the lowcountry. Not only has our island paradise been flooded, but so is everywhere else up and down the low lying coastline. Drainage is the top topic for all coastal counties. The rain, coupled with high tides, have saturated the ground, the water has no where to go except sit there. Plus, the sad part, our island has so many homes on septic tanks which do not work with saturated yards. I am constantly asked, what is the city doing? Well, it’s not an easy answer, but we are doing a lot as we speak. Currently, the city is in the middle of it’s Phase II drainage project which is between 45th and 52nd Avenues. The expected completion of this project is in late September into October, of course, completion is weather related. In the meantime, the city has deployed pumps in some of the most needed locations. Also, late last year, the city increased it’s drainage cleaning program with Eadies from once a year to three times a year. Right now, we have a Request for Proposals for the design and engineering associated with the drainage outfalls between 41st and 21st Avenues. The deadline for the bids is September 5th. Long story short, based on what we, the city heard, at our first ever public forum at the beginning of the year, parking and drainage were at the top. We have passed improvements to our parking plan and are now waiting for the signs to be made in order to enforce. The other main issue was drainage. Our Planning Commission is working with the Water and Sewer Commission on a Memo of Understanding as for our sewage plant and trying to help those homes that are in dire need and what it would take to do the whole island in the future. While houses that are in such need, must be helped, our drainage problems need to be addressed first, and doing so will be expensive. Over in Mt. Pleasant, the drainage makeover for Snee Farm is over 7 million. We have a decades old drainage plan, but so much has changed as per homes having been taken down and rebuilt, ditches have been piped, some well, some not so well. Lots of impervious material has been put down for driveways, sidewalks and swimming pool surrounds. Having said all this, this is why I was so adamant in my election about our needs verses our wants. Yes, some wanted a new 5.5 million dollar marina, but, was that a need for our residents or a want by a very few and who did it benefit? Some wanted a new cardio workout room for our recreation center, again, a want verses our needs. We need a good drainage plan, however, it won’t solve the issue completely, but it would certainly help get the water off the roads and away from our houses more efficiently. We need to take care of our recently discovered deferred maintenance problems in some of our city properties. Hill Construction estimated we have 1.8 million in deferred maintenance. We need to be better prepared financially for emergencies. Your council sees what needs to be done and is working towards that. Please, if you have extreme drainage problems or other issues, go to http://www.iop.net and click on the city government tab, and then under council. You can send all members of council, including me, an email describing what you see needs to be addressed. If everyone were to start using pervious materials in future projects, that alone would help. Cleaning your ditch of limbs and clutter in the back yard would help. If we all think about the big picture, every baby step would help.
I thank you for allowing me to serve as your mayor, and as I promised, I am accessible to anyone, most any time. My cell is 843-452-1200.

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