Folly Hall of Fame, public garden, scofflaw parkers discussed
By Charlie McCarty | City Council Reporter
The regular monthly meeting of the Folly Beach City Council was held the evening of June 9 at City Hall. In its Work Session, convened at 6 p.m., a bare quorum consisting of Mayor Tim Goodwin and Councilmembers Sandi Hickman, Pennell Clamp, and Tom Scruggs tackled four areas for discussion and ceremony.
First, after reviewing the contributions and values candidates had brought to the City and the Folly way of life, Wallace Benson and other Hall of Fame Committee members presented the credentials and inducted two worthy candidates into the ranks of the Folly Beach Hall of Fame posthumously: former Mayor Fred J. Adams and Dennis McKevlin. Family members and friends present gathered to receive these honors and individual commemorative plaques in their memory. The memorial plaque on the second floor of City Hall has since been updated to include their names as well.
City Comptroller Lee Gessner and Clerk of Court Nicole DeNeane discussed in thorough detail the challenge in collecting delinquent fees and fines accruing to the City as a result of parking violations. They spoke to the pending Resolution 28-15 and Ordinance 14-15 that would allow the City to contract with a municipal collections agency to collect past due parking fines.
Councilmember Scruggs gave background and details relating to the proposed Resolution 26-15 and the obligations the City would absorb in leasing garden space currently part of the plat that houses the Folly Beach Civic Club on West Indian Avenue. Scruggs supported the Folly Green Team project for establishing a garden there. Councilmembers Clamp and Hickman expressed some concern about whether the City should be directly accountable for the project and possible liability issues. The proposed lease would be between the City and the actual property owners, Folly Founders Corporation. Scruggs indicated funds had already been budgeted for the Green Team to use for garden purposes such as establishing a water connection. The City will be liable for the costs of metered water use at the garden.
While the Mayor’s Committee to Examine Festivals and Events is actively seeking input from a broad spectrum of sources through a series of meetings and surveys, Councilmember Scruggs has also engaged Comptroller Lee Gessner in a separate endeavor to also look at how the City might recoup its costs from events. Scrugg presented some information he gleaned from Gassner’s files. Councilmember Clamp registered concern that the City should not drive out groups by assessing them added fees only to have them move out of Folly. Clamp wanted to find out how other small municipalities such as Isle of Palms handle such matters. Gessner was open to Council suggestions in determining the financial level of support the City wants to commit.
Moving to its Regular Monthly Meeting at 7 p.m., the roll was called again with Members Clamp, Scruggs, Hickman and Goodwin present. Members Dale Stuckey, Eddie Ellis and DJ Rich were absent.
In Opening Comments, Mayor Goodwin thanked all participants in the earlier Folly Beach Hall of Fame event, and said he looks forward to the further inductions that will recognize worthy candidates. In reviewing the night’s agenda, Mayor Goodwin requested that Resolution R27-15 (proposing funds for beach survey work) be removed as funds will not need to be spent on the effort. He further asked that Ordinance10-15 (amending construction standards for bulkheads, sea walls and revetments) be removed as the City has yet to receive comments on the proposed amendments from the State. The agenda as amended were approved unanimously.
Gary Withers of 507 West Beach Court asked Council for Mariners Cay Lot 8 to be rezoned as Commercial Corridor. Zoning Administrator Pope discussed the current zoning and the requirements for proposing changes. He indicated a proposal in ordinance form will be ready for City Council review and consideration next month.
Mike Ezelle said that the Folly Beach Green Team was moving ahead with plans for the Beach Cleanup Event. Barbie Schriener appeared asking approval for the Kickin’ Chicken food truck to be set up for two hours on City property as a fundraiser for the Coastal Crisis Chaplaincy. After discussing a possible location and dates, a solution was proposed and accepted that the event could be best accommodated on August 26 at Folly River Park as an element of the Farmers Market. No vote of Council was necessary.
Roger Van Dyke of 502 West Ashley Avenue indicated that since his last comments to Council about needs and responsibilities for traffic control and calming in the City that he had now written to various offices and officials at the State level. He again asked City Council to review and proceed where possible to address this situation. He presented Council with a record of his contacts. He also asked if Palmetto Parking could do more to clean up the beach access parking lots. Mayor Goodwin said he would talk with Lee Gessner, staff liaison to Palmetto Parking, immediately.
Charles McCarthy of 208 West Ashley Avenue, reported that while Loggerhead’s Restaurant was working with him on his concerns on noise, he still had to call about the noise on May 30. He asked that City Council undo some of its current stipulations in its noise ordinance, and would like all music in the business area to stop at 10 p.m. rather than 11 p.m. He thought members of Council who own or operate such businesses should recuse themselves from such matters when they are before Council. He related how at least one City of Charleston officer handles noise complaints, and went on to say that Loggerhead’s is the only establishment working with its neighbors on the matter. He is concerned that the rights of the businesses are overriding the rights of the residents in or abutting the commercial area.
Council read Ordinance No. 03-15 that would allow city administration to accept a proposal to move the city right-of-way from lot 505 and 506 to lot 506 and 507 on East Ashley Avenue. It was introduced by Mayor Goodwin in first reading, and subsequently postponed from the April meeting. There was no motion made to put the ordinance on the floor for discussion and as a result the proposed ordinance died without action.
Council then considered amending in second reading Ordinance No. 04-15 changing the Code of Ordinances to stop the current allocation of the first $40,000 of Hospitality taxes received going to the Capital Reserve Account (through CY2022) and instead allotting that amount to the General Fund. The Ordinance was passed unanimously and was adopted.
Ordinance No. 05-15 proposed changing City Ordinances dealing with the receipt and distribution of Accommodation Tax Funds, also in second reading, by increasing the levy from 1 percent to 2 percent of gross proceeds, and increasing from $145,000 to $150,000 the amount transferred annually to the General Fund. Again, Council voted unanimously to approve the ordinance and it was adopted.
Council unanimously reappointed Michael Henning of Folly Beach and appointed Larry Drolet of Hollywood, SC to the Utility Advisory Board. Drolet, a long-experienced engineer, recently retired as Director of Construction for the Charleston Water System.
In Resolution No. R22-15 Council unanimously voted to renew a contract in the amount of $19,380 to be paid from the Beach Preservation Fund, to Elko Coastal Consulting to conduct monitoring of the beach and annual reporting in accordance with the responsibilities of the City of Folly Beach as a local sponsor for the Federal Shore Protection Project. In the same vein, Council unanimously approved Resolution No. R23-15 awarding Elko a second contract not to exceed $16,800 to be paid from the Beach Preservation Fund for general beach preservation consulting. Both of the latter awards recognize “boilerplate” requirements for cities requesting federal monies. A vote was taken with all in favor.
In Resolution No. R24-15 the Council unanimously proclaimed the week of June 7-13 as National Beach Safety Week.
Considering Resolution No. R25-15, City Council voted unanimously to authorize the sum of $500 from Council Discretionary funds to compensate intern David Johnson for his work on the Planning Commission Comprehensive Plan survey. Zoning Administrator Pope noted that Johnson, a volunteer, did exceptional work in conducting and amassing the survey results.
In Resolution No. R26-15 Council, following up on its analysis in the work session above, authorized the Mayor to enter into a lease agreement with the Folly Founders Corporation for space for a community garden. The vote was unanimous.
Again, as discussed and examined in the earlier work session, Council had no difficulty in endorsing Resolution No. R28-15 unanimously to let the administration enter into an agreement with Municipal Collections of America for the collection of unpaid parking tickets.
By approving Resolution No. R29-15 unanimously, Council authorized expenditure of $6,636 from the Center Street Reserve Account to purchase and install brick pavers on four corner cutouts and appointing the Mayor and Comptroller as designees for the remainder of funds, and any future donations, into this account.
Finally, following discussions and analysis in the preceding work session, Council passed in first reading Ordinance No. 14-15 an amendment to Chapter 72, Section 12 Parking Bonds, allowing the City to enter into agreement with outside agencies for the collection of overdue parking bonds. There was no discussion, and Council voted unanimous for approval.
City Council Comments
All thanked the citizens for coming. Councilmember Scruggs applauded the Hall of Fame inductees. Councilmember Clamp wished the Mayor a Happy Birthday. And Councilmember Hickman said she was glad to see the Farmer’s Market move ahead and hoped everyone has a safe July 4. Council adjourned at 8:05 p.m.