Thursday, December 19, 2013
Sullivan’s Island Town Council approved two motions Tuesday that should provide the than $5 million necessary to move forward with its plans of water-flow improvements and capital projects.
The town will request $1.6 million from the South Carolina Clean Water State Revolving Fund to improve its inflow and infiltration system. The fund offers some of the lowest interest rates available for the type of loan. Town council is exploring three different resolution plans, from multiple companies, that vary in cost and time.
The first option is to plug the cracks and holes in the pipes with a grout mixture. The solution is the least invasive, least expensive and should suffice for approximately 25 years.
The second is to put a liner through the pipes, essentially creating pipes inside the original pipes. This method is slightly more expense but would do a better job of closing holes and bigger cracks and would last approximately twice as long as the grout solution.
The third, and most expensive option, is to replace the pipes. While it seems to be the most effective way to ensure elimination of the leakage issue, it is the most expensive and Mayor Mike Perkis expressed concern over the disruptions the extensive project would cause to residents.
The majority of the pipe system on Sullivan’s Island predates 1970, with some near Station 16 dating back as far as 1932. Sullivan’s Island estimates it’s currently taking in 300,000 gallons of extra water per day through cracks and wear on its sewer pipes.
Town council also approved a proposal to move forward in obtaining potentially $3.9 million in a general ordinance bond. The money would be allocated to capital projects like the construction of a new town hall building, park improvements and replacement of the town’s fire and ladder trucks.
Town-owned property will also be used to fund the projects, although town council didn’t accept any of the current bids on the land at Tuesday’s meeting. Perkis says the town will re-strategize how to market the property to a bigger market in an attempt to draw a larger range of potential buyers. He described Sullivan’s Island as being in a “very strong financial position” and, with the GO bond, is optimistic about beginning the early stages of construction on the new town hall in as little as 90 days.
The only ordinance town council did not approve Tuesday was the second reading of an amendment to the Code of Ordinances to revise franchise fees for filming, videotaping and still photography for commercial use. The ordinance would also prohibit filming of any type on the beach. Perkis says the town has not yet come to a consensus on the appropriate fees and will continue to discuss options.
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