Pawleys Island Town Council discusses underground wiring

  • Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Pawleys Island Town Council approved spending $1,600 for a brochure for residents that explains the town’s plan to put utility wires undergound.

The brochure will share and explain the project’s advantages including aesthetics, and the fact that residents’ electrical services will rarely, if ever, be interrupted by storm activity and will not be interrupted by wayward drivers hitting utility poles.

The Brandon Advertising was hired to produce approximately 1,000 brochures.

Council member Sarah Zimmerman questioned whether or not any Georgetown County businesses had been contacted for a competitive bid.

Although no other bids were solicited, Council unanimously agreed the price quoted for a professional brochure relative to the $14 million project seemed reasonable.

A mock-up of the brochure was expected to be available for Council’s review, input and approval this week.

Approximately $2.4 million from existing town funds is expected to be used to help pay to bury the wires. Property owners will not be assessed or taxed at a later date.

In other business

The town has been asked to assist the state in updating official flood maps, which will be produced by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Pawleys Island Mayor Bill Otis and assistant adminsitrator Ryan Fabbri are compiling the information for the state.

The new maps from FEMA will take about a year to coplete.

Pawleys Island already has a plan in place with more than $4 million of dedicated funding that can be used in case of disaster. If a natural disaster destroyed 75 peercent of the island’s beachfront property, the Storm Damage Beach Renourishment Plan would be implemented.

Additional funding could be secured by borrowing from the town’s 3 percent Accommodations Tax collections, as well as from new property taxes.

Council is seeking a new member with experience in cultural issues to replace Molly Mercer, who no longer lives on the island.

Jim McCants was chosen to serve as interim chairman of the town’s Planning Commission.

Pawleys Island’s assets are currently at $7.4 million – a financial position that is stronger than 95 percent of other South Carolina cities.

However, revenue is slightly under projection, and expenses are $100,000 under budget.

Council agrred to turn over the funds from the town’s Victims’ Service Account to Georgetown County to manage.

The money comes from traffic ticket fines.

The town’s website has been updated and is performing exceptionally well.

Traffic in October, November and December showed a 35 percent increase over 2012.

Facebook engagement has increased by 35 percent in the last three months.

Efforts have been launched to improve activity on Twitter and Instagram as well.

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