It was a simple three-item agenda:
1. Call to Order
2. Beach Renourishment Project
But even though it was a simple agenda, the import of the discussion during Friday’s special called meeting of Pawleys Island Town Council could have a significant impact on the beach community.
As reported in previous stories, the town of Pawleys Island has experienced delays in getting the OK from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for its long-awaited beach renourishment project.
Just three of five members of town council were able to be at the Friday meeting. Council will have another special meeting on Monday morning, July 29 at 9 a.m. in Town Hall.
Mayor Jimmy Braswell and members Ashley Carter and Rocky Holliday will be joined then by Guerry Green. Sarah Zimmerman is out of town but will join in the discussion via a conference call as council decides whether to wait longer on a Corps decision or to go it alone.
Braswell and Town Administrator Ryan Fabbri briefed council members and members of the plus about the issues facing the Town. Steven Traynum of Coastal Science and Engineering was also on hand to provide his insight. CSE helps the town with its work related to beaches.
For all members of town council and many town residents and property owners, the issue of “sand on the beach” is a big one.
The town submitted a proposal to the Corps in 2004 for a beach renourishment project. About a year ago, the town learned that the Corps had said it would fund much of the cost of that 15-year-old project if the town wanted to participate with them.
Because of the prospect of significant federal dollars to help pay for the dredging and beach renourishment, Town Council voted to accept the idea from the Corps. That was just a short while – about two weeks – before the town had planned to proceed with its own, self-financed project.
The Maronex dredging company had submitted the low bid for the project at that time.
Fabbri contacted that company and others and learned that Maronex said it could still do the project and offered close to a $500,000 discount but, the company needs to have a decision from the town by Tuesday, July 30. Beyond that discount, the town would also save money om the cost of additional sand if council members decide to expand the project from a “base” of about 750,000 cubic yards of sand to 850,000 cubic yards.
Considering the pros and cons of waiting to see what the Corps decides on a “validation study” or deciding to do the work on its own is a decision the council members will have to make on Monday.
All meetings of town council are open to the public.