TOWN OF SEABROOK ISLAND
Town Council Meeting of March 26, 2013
After the pledge of allegiance, Mayor Holtz called the March 26, 2013, Town Council meeting to order
at 2:30 p.m. Councilmen Ahearn, Ciancio, Cummin and Reed, Town Clerk Allbritton, Town
Administrator Pierce and several guests attended the meeting. The meeting was properly posted and
the requirements of the SC Freedom of Information Act were met.
Minutes – The minutes of the Town Council meeting of February 26, 2013, were approved with two
Financials – Mayor Holtz reported that revenue for the year to date is $160,000 and is about $16,000
better than budget. Expenditures for the year to date are well below budget and the excess of revenue
over expenditures is $87,000 and compares to $100,000 for the same period in 2012.
Citizens/Guests Presentations, Comments: Nick Strehle, Sunburst Landscaping, reported that the
Town’s shrubs and trees will not be pruned until the shrubs have bloomed and the trees have put on
new growth to insure that only the dead sections will be removed. The pruning will be done by Arbor
Care. Three Oaks will do the drainage, flapper valves and the excavation work along the Parkway.
This part of the project is set to begin the week after Easter and beginning of May. As soon as Three
Oaks knows where the utilities are, they will come up with a firm plan on where the pipe can be
situated behind the marsh and on the side of the road near the small Seabrook Island sign. The work
on the plantings and dead stumps that need to be ground is set for April 8-12 and the pine straw and
flowers along the Parkway and the Town Hall are scheduled for the final week in April and first week
Reports of Standing Committees, Commissions, Boards:
Government Relations – Councilman Reed reported that he attended a Council of Governments
meeting on Monday, March 25th, at which the COG released their multi-year initiative, OurRegion
OurPlan. This document goes into great detail about the long range plan for Berkeley, Charleston and
Dorchester counties. Council Reed stated that he was disappointed in the Transportation Infrastructure
and Mobility section of the document because of the amount of effort spent on multi-modal
transportation – light rail, commuter rail and things other than automobiles.
Councilman Reed commented that all is quiet on the I-526 and Greenway front but the hot topic, as far
as transportation, is the intersection at Highway 17 and Main Road. Councilman Reed reported that he
and the Town Administrator have been working with the Department of Transportation to try to set up
a meeting locally to provide more information on how the intersection will work on a day-to-day basis
and in case of evacuation. Mayor Holtz remarked that, if the super intersection is not the solution to
the problem at Main and Highway 17, we need to try to keep the $3,000,000 to pursue practical
solutions to the problem. A Seabrook Island resident, Glenda Miller, stated that there are several Johns
Island groups that do not think the super intersection is the best option for the money.
Councilman Reed reported that there have been a large number of applicants for the position of Fire
Chief for the Johns Island Fire Department and asked Sue Holloman, Seabrook Island’s representative
on the St. Johns Fire Commission, if she would like to report on progress toward filling the position.
Commissioner Holloman reported that a HR meeting was held today but business was conducted in
executive session and she was not allowed to report the details of the meeting. Commissioner
Holloman did report that the Commission is moving forward and plans to begin interviewing in mid-
April. A meet-and-greet is tentatively scheduled for Thursday, April 18th, and she would like for
representatives of the Town of Seabrook Island to attend to meet the prospective candidates.
Commissioner Holloman remarked that St. Johns Fire Commission is extremely fortunate to have
Chief Stanley, who has stepped in and has been doing a wonderful job.
Councilman Reed reported that there have been articles/editorials in The Post and Courier recently and
some local papers are planning to have upcoming articles about Charleston’s high insurance rates.
Councilman Reed stated that there is a good chance that properties along the coast are being
overcharged for property insurance, particularly wind and hail insurance, and the State has not
provided necessary oversight to make sure premiums are commensurate with the risk that is involved.
Community Relations – Councilman Ahearn reported that the Town’s ad in the Mid-Atlantic edition
of Southern Living has just come out. As with the ads that were run in Southern Living in 2012, there
is a card in the magazine that can be filled out to request information on Seabrook Island. Each
person that sends in a card will receive a letter from the Mayor and a brochure about Seabrook Island.
Councilman Ahearn stated that one of the things the Property Owners Association is attempting to do
is make the Long Range Planning Committee a Strategic Planning Committee that would look five
years into the future rather than two years as they are currently doing. The Visibility Committee has
not met recently but will be meeting soon to make plans for the summer.
Bohicket Marina Merchants Association has approached the Town about becoming a sponsor of Kick
It At Bohicket, which is a program aimed at kids that is held at Bohicket Marina on Tuesday nights
during the summer. Councilman Ahearn stated that he is working with them currently to make sure the
liability issue is covered. A representative of the Bohicket Merchants Association brought Councilman
Ahearn an agreement just before the Town Council meeting that had already been signed by a
representative of the Marina. Councilman Ahearn commented that he would look over the agreement
and make changes he thinks are appropriate and bring the sponsorship up again at the April Town
Councilman Ahearn stated that there has been discussion about either building a Welcome Center
where Seabrook Realty is located currently or reworking the current building. Since the Club at
Seabrook is trying to build up their reserves, Councilman Ahearn feels like they will be reconstructing
the inside of the current building to make it more useful. Mayor Holtz commented that a Welcome
Center of some sort is needed as the current situation of trying to get visitors onto Seabrook Island is
not well organized.
Communications/Planning & Development – Councilman Cummin reported that Max Willis will
conduct a ham radio familiarization class on Thursday, March 28th, from 4 to 5:30 p.m. at the Town
Hall for the people that recently received their FCC license and call sign. Eleven of the people, who
got their call signs recently, have radios that were supplied by their various entities but two individuals
that passed the test do not belong to any of the entities. Councilman Cummin stated that Mayor Holtz
had indicated that the Town could supply radios to those individuals – Ian Millar and Jim Shaw. The
only caveat to the Town buying the radios is that Mr. Millar and Mr. Shaw should participate in the net
call that is conducted monthly by CERT. Mayor Holtz moved to reimburse Councilman Cummin
$315.68 for the two ham radios. Councilman Ahearn seconded the motion and the vote to approve was
Councilman Cummin reported that Mayor Holtz has asked several times for a way to solve the
streaming video problem for the Town website. Allison McCutcheon, Obviouslee Marketing, has said
that the streaming problem is a Flash issue. When the Town was developing the website, mobile
devices did not display Flash video files but the number of people accessing the site by this means was
minimal and it was decided that this was not very much of a concern. At this time last year, only 9%
of the visits to the Town’s website were from mobile devices; but, currently, 31% of the visitors view
the site by this means. With the shift in mobile viewing, there have been some changes in mobile
technology that will help resolve this issue and the cost to enable us to recode the home page and alter
the video format to make videos mobile friendly will be $450. Councilman Cummin moved to
approve the expenditure of $450 to alter the video format of the Town website in order to make the
video portion mobile friendly. Mayor Holtz seconded the motion and the vote to approve was
unanimous. The quarterly report on the website will be held at 1:45 p.m. by speaker phone with Jenny
Ferrara of Obviouslee Marketing.
Councilman Cummin reported that U.S. Fish & Wildlife has posted an 84 page request in the Federal
Register to designate 84 miles of coastline running from North Carolina to Alabama & Mississippi as
critical habitat for loggerhead turtles. The part of the coastline in South Carolina does include
Seabrook Island. Comments for this proposal are due on or before May 24, 2013. Mayor Holtz stated
that a Ways & Means meeting will be held to discuss this matter.
Public Safety – Councilman Ciancio reported that the Public Safety Committee met on March 13. Ed
Rinehimer, Vice President of the Seabrook Island Property Owners Association, and Harry Vincent,
from the Council of Villa Associations and Regimes, attended this meeting and Mr. Rinehimer has
expressed an interest in attending the Public Safety Committee meetings as an ad hoc non-voting
member. At the meeting, the Public Safety Committee developed a series of hypothetical
circumstances which the town and other stakeholders will respond to as part of the tabletop exercises
to be conducted by the Disaster Recovery Council at its June meeting. The committee also
considered what the Town’s goals and objectives should be in the event of a natural disaster. The
Committee realizes, as a matter of law, that this Council cannot bind future Councils but it is the sense
of the Committee that the objectives should form the basis around which the Town plans for a natural
disaster. A copy of the minutes of the Public Safety Committee meeting minutes of March 13, 2013, is
attached for information purposes. The summer meeting for the Disaster Recovery Council has been
set for June 26th and this meeting will coincide with Charleston County’s disaster exercise.
Councilman Ciancio suggested that the St. Johns Fire Department send a representative to participate
in the exercise.
The Kiawah-Seabrook Disaster Preparedness Day has been scheduled for Thursday, June 13. This is
an event, jointly sponsored by Seabrook Island and Kiawah, which provides useful information on how
to prepare and respond to emergency situations. Councilman Ciancio stated that he would like to
publicize the event and attempt to get a larger participation from Seabrook Island than in the past.
Councilman Ciancio moved that the Town allocate $1,500 as the Town’s share of the expense for the
Kiawah-Seabrook Disaster Awareness Day to be held in June. Councilman Cummin seconded the
motion and the vote to approve was unanimous.
Disaster awareness information has been prepared for inclusion in the Exchange Club’s Kiawah-
Seabrook Telephone Directory. The evacuation route and other steps that residents should take in
preparation for a hurricane or other natural disaster will be included.
Councilman Ciancio reported that both the Seabrook Island Club and the Seabrook Island Property
Owners Association have indicated a desire to retain the Town’s safety consultant to work on
comprehensive emergency plans that will complement the plan the Town already has in place.
Councilman Ciancio has also suggested to both organizations that Scott Cave serve as a facilitator for
the negotiation of a Memorandum of Understanding between the organizations whereby we can work
through issues of sharing physical resources and personnel in response to a natural disaster.
Ways & Means – No Report
Planning Commission – No Report
Board of Zoning Appeals – No Report
Utility Commission – Chairman Jeff Bostock reported that finances for the Seabrook Island Utility
Commission for February were within budget. For the second month in a row, water usage was higher
than forecasted. Operations for the month were normal and the new facilities are operating quite well.
Repairs have been completed on a pump station that was damaged by an automobile and the Property
Owners Association is taking care of the landscaping around the area. The auditor is currently
working on last year’s financials and the final financial report will probably be ready by the Utility
Commission’s May meeting.
Reports of Town Officers:
Mayor – No Report
Town Administrator – No Report
Petitions Received, Referred or Disposed of: None
Ordinances for First Reading:
Ordinance 2013-01, An Ordinance Authorizing the Issuance and Sale of General Obligation
Bonds or Bond Anticipation Notes, in an Amount not to Exceed $4,000,000. Councilman
Ciancio went over Ordinance 2013-01 in great detail for Council and guests. A copy of a
memorandum Councilman Ciancio gave to Council pertaining to the ordinance is attached to the
minutes for information purposes. Councilman Ciancio reported that he and Town Administrator
Pierce have spoken with BB&T and Wells Fargo about purchasing Bond Anticipation Notes. After
a credit clearance, the Town will be required to do a dry run on the documents and will then
receive an indicative term sheet. This action is not a commitment on the part of the bank to
purchase the notes but the first hurdle to clear in the event of a disaster where the Town would
require additional funds. The time period between the Town asking for funds and the availability
of funds would be between ten days and two weeks. Discussions will continue with both banks
and a recommendation will be made to Council at second reading of the ordinance at the April
Town Council meeting. The Town will be required to adopt the ordinance again or refresh this
ordinance if it is not used in the next two to three years. Councilman Ciancio moved that
Ordinance 2013-01 be accepted on first reading in the form as presented to Council with one
exception. On page 5, Sec. 13, the last sentence should be deleted – “The Council hereby retains
McNair Law Firm, P.A. as bond counsel in connection with the issuance of the Bond”.
Councilman Reed seconded the motion and the vote to approve was unanimous. Philip Squire, a
resident, questioned Council about the taxing authority of the Town and Councilman Ciancio
responded that the ability to get the bonds is based on the assessed evaluation of the taxable
property within the Town. If the bonds are issued and if it is decided to use tax revenue to pay the
bonds, the Town would work with Charleston County to assess a mileage that would be included in
the County’s tax bills and would then be remitted back to the Town.
Ordinances for Second Reading: None
Miscellaneous Business: None
Citizens Comments: Philip Squire, a Seabrook Island resident, questioned Council about the Town’s
permitting requirements for installing carpet. Town Administrator Pierce explained that the Building
Code did require a permit for carpet, but the Town has stopped requiring contractors to go to
Charleston County to obtain a permit for installing carpet or painting as long as they obtain the Town’s
Zoning permit. The permit issued by the Town allows Town employees to make sure contractors are
properly licensed and are insured. Mr. Squire also questioned why the Town was spending money on
advertising. Mayor Holtz responded that the Town receives Accommodations Tax from the State and
Charleston County and there are restrictions on how the Town spends the funds. Accommodations
Tax funds can be spent on tourism. Councilman Ahearn remarked that Seabrook Island is relatively
unknown and advertising the island should benefit homeowners when the time comes to sell their
property. The Town uses a professional agency to help with our public relations and advertising
efforts in order to determine the best way to spend the Town’s advertising budget. Mayor Holtz
remarked that the Town does not favor any particular real estate company but has links on the Town
website to real estate companies that do rentals as well as Vacation Rentals by Owner.
The meeting was adjourned at 3:50 p.m.
Approved: April 23, 2013 Faye Allbritton, Town Clerk