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IOP Special Council 4pm, Public Hearing 5:45pm, Regular Council July 23, 6pm 2019

July 22, 2019

Thank you for allowing me to serve as your mayor. I will say it has been an interesting 18 months with unique challenges, but we never lost a beat. Currently, we are working on getting OCRM permits for both the 3 drainage outfalls for our Phase III project, the marina docks which the city is required to do by the terms of the lease, and we have started the preliminary work on our major renovations of our public safety building #1 down on J.C. Long Blvd. These are the big ones, we have many other moving parts that we are always working on. Please, this is election time, if you have ever considered giving back to your community, now is the time to start you council campaign. Again, thank you for allowing me to serve you.


IOP Ways and Means agenda, July 16, 2019, 5pm

July 12, 2019

After an extremely challenging year, one where new issues kept popping up, we were still able to pass a budget, without a tax increase. Yes, we have major drainage issues, which we are tackling in phases. We have 3 drainage outfalls that will cost 3.9 million, but council is deferring this amount until we get the OCRM permits to build which will easily fall into the next budget cycle. In the meantime, are still working on smaller drainage projects throughout the year. The same applies to our marina docks, because of the leases, the city has the responsibility to rebuild at an estimated cost of 2 million. But like our drainage outfalls, more OCRM permits are needed, which can easily take a year. Once received, those projects will be in the following year’s budgeting process. What we were able to do within this recently passed budget is to move forward with our repairs to our Public Safety building at front beach. While it cost us 6.5 million to build 10 years ago, it has major deficiencies that have to be corrected and these repairs are going to cost us almost as much as the building cost to build! Because of this building, the city hired Hill Construction to evaluate our city assets, and found we had 1.6 million in deferred maintenance. Because of this, we have now created a sinking fund to start maintaining city assets, so we are not caught with huge budget shortfalls due to not keeping up with our assets. Please do not blame this council for the issues they inherited, but thank them for being forward thinking for preventative maintenance. We have a new fire department ladder truck on order, it required too much work to rebuild whereas, the other ladder truck made the cut in being able to be refurbished, so instead of having to buy a new one, we are completely overhauling the truck for half the cost of a new one and still getting the same warranty as a new one. This is a council that is working as hard as they can, to give you, our taxpaying residents the best in services while trying to keep our/your costs down. In closing, remember, this is an election year, if you want to serve your community, run for IOP City Council. And please thank those that serve you with their time and expertise. And please, thank all of our city employees for the great job they do in providing the best in services to you.

Happy 243rd Birthday America!!!!!

July 3, 2019

Our Declaration of Independence was adapted on July 4, 1776, what a great country we live in!

IOP Special City Council Budget Meeting 5:30, IOP City Council Meeting 6pm

June 25, 2019

Thank you for allowing me to serve as your mayor. Please note, this budget was very challenging. We had to deal with hiring both a police chief and a city administrator, while at the same time, working on drainage issues, the rebuilding of a public safety building which is only 10 years old and dealing with the marina docks that, because of the way the lease was written, the city is responsible for. Both the drainage cost and marina require OCRM and DHEC permits, which will push these projects out into the following year’s budget. However, while waiting for the permits, the city is working on designs so as not to lose time. Our city hall staff along with council have been very aggressive in seeking income from very limited sources, and have created a building maintenance fund for city assets. Please make sure to thank our city hall staff and council members who all worked hard in preventing a tax increase, that we thought was imminent but were able to hold off another year while maintaining our city services, and city assets. Lastly, this is an election year, if you have ever thought of giving back to your community, now is the time to start preparing your campaign. Happy 4th of July, and please be safe!

IOP Special City Council on adopting a budget and lot coverage 5:30 pm, IOP City Council Agenda 6 pm Tuesday June 25, 2019

June 22, 2019

As always, I want to thank our city staff for the incredible job and many hours they put in on this budget. This has been a trying year, but we have accomplished more in this past year than in any year I’ve been on council. Plus, we had to take care of issues that we inherited, ie, a 10 year old public safety building that is basically being rebuilt, a marina lease that requires us to rebuild the docks and working on drainage. Two of the projects, the drainage outfalls and the docks, require permits from the OCRM that will take us into the next fiscal year, so we dodged a bullet by not having to raise taxes this year, but it will probably happen in our July 1, 2020 to June 30th, 2021 budget. Our city staff and council all deserve Kudos for a job well done. Thank you for allowing me to be your mayor.

IOP Ways and Means Agenda June 18, 2019

June 18, 2019

As many on council have been talking about for over a year, we have the 3.9 million we know we need to build in drainage outfalls, plus we inherited a Public Safety building that is only 10 years old and cost 6.5 million to build, but are faced with almost the same amount in repairs. This in inexcusable. Plus, because of leases the city entered into at the marina, we have to rebuild the docks when those cost should have been put on the tenant through a triple net lease. Before we start raising taxes, we need permits for the outfalls, and for the marina dock rebuild which will take us out another year. This council has cut, trimmed, increased areas of limited revenue, so I am hoping to be able to maintain another year without a tax increase. This has been a great council who has worked hard to be forward thinking, to save 1% a year in city asset maintenance and all the while, maintaining city services to highest of quality. Thank you for letting me serve as your mayor.

IOP Special Council Workshop June 13, 4pm

June 8, 2019

As we close in on our passing a budget, we keep finding more challenges, but before I go into this, let me say first, CONGRATULATIONS to our new City Administrator, Desiree Fragoso and to our new Police Chief, Kevin Cornett. We went through a lengthy process to seek applicants, more than a 100 applicants per position, and both Desiree and Kevin stood out as easy choices who will be taking our island community into the future. Now, back to the fun stuff, the budget. We knew we have drainage problems that are growing more frequent. We finished our Phase II project last year, and now we are working on Phase III which will be 3 drainage outfalls at 41st Ave, 36th Ave, and 31st Ave. These are just the outfalls and will cost 3.9 million, but we still have a lot more to do on the interior of the island. We also have $500,000 in our budget for smaller projects during the next fiscal year. On top of this, we increased our ditch maintenance contract with Eadies Construction from once a year to 3 times a year. We finally met with SCDOT who came out with several crews and worked on some hot spots around the island and have agreed to come back quarterly. Drainage is something we will be having to deal with for decades to come. We just introduced new ordinances that will make lot subdivisions harder and we are decreasing our lot non-pervious coverage from 40% to 35% and requiring pervious driveways, sidewalks, and pool surrounds. The IOP is taking the lead in becoming more resilient. Drainage was one of my campaign promises, however, we have discovered, after a lawsuit settlement on our Public Safety Building by front beach, that we have serious construction defects that were unknown. We have a building that cost us 6.5 million to build 10 years ago, and will now cost us almost the same amount to repair. The problems are similar to the ones we had in the previous building that we tore down and replaced. Just so everyone knows, this building was built before the current council was serving, this is just something we have to deal with. Lastly, because of poorly written leases, the city is responsible for the replacement of the docks for the marina tenant. Usually, one does a triple net lease where the tenant is responsible for the docks, taxes, and insurance, however, this wasn’t done. The city is seeking a dock rebuilding permit from the OCRM, which could take upwards of a year or longer for such a large project. The marina’s 5.5 million dollar bond referendum was what got me elected, we would have borrowed all this money to improve the marina, but because of 2 of the leases, which run till 2045, we would have got nothing in return. We do have 2 leases that expire at the end of the summer of 2020. The city has hired a professional commercial real estate company that will seek RFPs, (Request for Proposals) on the Morgan Creek Grill property. Any of the current tenants may also put in a proposal, but this time, we will think ahead about the city’s vision for the marina, its traffic flow and parking. These are just some of the big ticket items we are faced with. We are a small community that has the lowest tax rate around with limited income streams. Please look at your tax bill and see the portion that the Isle of Palms gets, and you’ll see that you are getting police, fire, sanitation and recreation for next to nothing. On my tax bill, I pay less than $100 a month for all of these services. Our taxes are low because of the tourism industry and 2nd home property owners. I’m extremely pleased with the results of our parallel parking along Palm Blvd and our protecting our residential neighborhoods from day visitor parking. It is still a work in progress, but if you want to compare our plan with the other 2 public beaches, please ride around both Folly and Sullivan’s Island on a weekend and then compare. It’s been a tough first 18 months, but I could not be more proud of what we have accomplished in spite of all of our challenges. Now that our major city positions have been filled, it’s time to take care of our city and our assets. Thank you for allowing me to serve as your mayor, and please remember, this is an election year, please consider running. It’s not easy, but it is rewarding giving back to our community.