July 7, 2016 Minutes

John’s Island Council
Post Office Box 208
John’s Island, SC 29457

Minutes of July 7, 2016 Meeting

Members attending: Sam Brownlee, Chris Cannon, Gary Marino, John Kozma, Rich Jenkins, Henry Chavis, Tim Squire, James Owens, Thomas Legare, Rich Thomas, Catherine Poag
Guests attending: Ted Smith, Cathy Swanson

The meeting was called to order and the pledge of allegiance followed.
Minutes: With a motion duly made and seconded, the minutes of June 2, 2016 were approved.

Chairman’s Report: Chair Chris Cannon said that in the County there is a matter relating to the retention pond in front of the proposed new Dollar General Store on Main Road. Chris will look into this. In the City, there was a request to remove 2 grand trees on a property. The meeting for that was yesterday. Chris did not know what had been decided about this.

Treasurer’s Report: Treasurer Sam Brownlee reported that the bank balance was $637.06 as of May 31, 2016. The Scholar’s Fund is at $388,780.90.
Sam also reported that there was no CHATS meeting.

Wadmalaw Island: Gary reported that Mary Jones, Rev. Jones’ wife, is now a Fire Commissioner for Wadmalaw Island.
Gary also mentioned a matter of old business. He had gone to the DHEC meeting awhile back re: Kiawah Utility and plan to drill & install a redundant water line under the Kiawah River. This is the longest drill ever attempted--6800 feet under the river from Kiawah Island to John’s Island-for a 16” pull. It seems that the pipe is not going into the sleeve and 2 attempts resulted in broken pipes and in the second failure the man running the machine was thrown off the machine when the pipe broke on July 1, 2016. The company refused to try any more times.

Old Business: Rich Thomas provided an update on the traffic light at River and Maybank. JI Council had previously sent a letter to the Mayor and County/City Councilmembers and County staff suggesting a “Smart/Computer System” be installed. At the James Island ½ cent referendum meeting, Rich and Catherine Poag has talked with Steve Thigpen, County Transportation, who said the County would pay for and install such a light system if the City will accept it. County Council member Joe Qualey has been talking to the Mayor’s office about this and he introduced Lawrence Thompson, an advisor to the Mayor. Mr. Thompson introduced Rich and Catherine to Mike Mathis of City Transportation. It seems that SCDOT owns that light and would have to approve any change. Steve Thigpen said he would be talking with SCDOT and would look into that part. While Rich and Catherine were talkng to Natalie Olsen, of CCL, the Mayor and his wife walked in and the suggestion of getting all three groups together to make it happen was brought up and the Mayor was in favor of the plan. Catherine has also been following up with the Mayor’s office.
Rich mentioned that eventually there will need to be other traffic lights along Maybank Highway due to the ongoing development of apartments and PUDs and the resulting increased traffic.
The project to widen Maybank Highway from River Road to the Stono Bridge is still in progress and it will start probably late fall 2016. The water company lines will either have to moved or paved over and St. John’s has not been contacted yet.
Catherine mentioned that 25 years ago 6 months before the Ryder Cup at Kiawah 2 lanes (Betsy Kerrison) were added from River Road to Kiawah. Wonder how that got done so quickly??
John Kozma had drafted a letter about the Main/ 17 Flyover and had a copy. He will work with Chris on finalizing this and getting it sent to County Council. It was decided that JI Council wants 17 to fly over Main Road. Thomas Legare so moved, Tim Squire seconded and it was approved to edit the letter to include that clarification.
Thomas Legare asked about a letter sent at least a year ago to SCDOT about lowering the speed limit on Highway 17 nearing Main Road intersection.. There was never a response to that. It seems that there are many accidents at that intersection and Sam mentioned one he had seen.
Rich Jenkins mentioned that there continue to be many bad potholes on John’s Island roads. Sometimes it is a matter of knowing who fixes what: County, City or SCDOT. Gary mentioned that for Wadmalaw, a work order has to be requested and then you have a number to check on. It is supposed to be completed in 3 days after the work order is issued. It was noted that there are also problems along River Road with the shoulder caving in.

New Business: Chair Chris Cannon brought up the proposed ½ cent tax referendum that County Council wants to put on the November ballot. There were County wide meetings and a list of probable projects was made available to the public.
Rich Thomas said the list of possible John’s Island projects (all is very vague) totaled $195,000,000. The last referendum had 10% for Greenbelt funding but this one only has 3%. Funding for CARTA projects is included. Total for all projects for entire County is $2.1billion.
Kiawah and Seabrook sent a list that included: Golfway through middle of John’s Island, 4 lane all of Maybank, 4 lane Main to Maybank, 4 lane Maybank to Stono Bridge. Rich had attended a meeting of the John’s Island Task Force and there is only one John’s Island member in the group. Rich also mentioned that there now seems to be a movement trying to get a John’s Island Connector built from West Ashley to River Road. The STIB will possibly fund some projects but not a connector. And the STIB will not be giving all the $420mm to County but has asked for a list of projects from County. County seems to be stalling. The problem is transportation not just roads as Rich Thomas explained.
Rich Jenkins brought up the topic of Impact fees which JI Council has discussed before. John Kozma has a position statement from several years ago and will send out copies. Dorchester County does have an impact fee. Thomas Legare mentioned that the JI Community Association is pushing for a moratorium on new development. Henry Chavis has brought up the need for impact fees before. There will be 700 new homes on Cane Slash Road.
There was also discussion about John’s Island schools. JI Community Association seems to want to bring in a charter school. Haut Gap has been doing well and it is important to support the schools that are here.
Chris mentioned that he will talk to some candidates about coming to the JI Council meeting in October before the election.

There being no further business the meeting adjourned at 8:40PM.
Respectfully submitted,
Catherine Poag, Secretary