February 4, 2016 Minutes

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


Members attending: Sam Brownlee, Henry Chavis, Rich Jenkins, Thomas Legare, Gary Marino, James Owens, Catherine Poag, Rich Thomas, Tim Squire

Following the pledge of allegiance, the meeting was called to order by Vice Chair Rich Jenkins.

Upon a motion duly made and seconded the minutes of the January 7, 2016 meeting were approved.

In the absence of Chair Chris Cannon, Vice Chair Rich Jenkins chaired the meeting. Rich introduced Gregg Bragg who will be covering the Johns Island Council meetings for the JI Messenger. Gregg lives on Kiawah and also writes articles for the Island Connection.

James Owens reported on the County Planning Board meeting he had attended. There was discussion about a project on Main Road by Backpen Road. Some families are not happy with the proposed landscaping around Holiday Court and have expressed their opposition. On Old Pond Road a small church had built a small building on what they thought was their property. It turns out that part of the building is actually on land owned by an adjoining property owner. The contractor has now left. The matter has yet to be resolved. It was pointed out that the County Inspector should have caught this.

Gary Marino reported on Wadmalaw Island. There is a small group of residents who want a water line brought to Wadmalaw. One of the more vocal is a local minister who wants to build a “retirement center” and cannot do so without public water. Pressure is being put on County Council to take some action. There are some wells and septic systems on Wadmalaw that are not functioning properly. Two years ago DHEC tested 110 wells. All water was found to be safe. 53% had hardness in the water and 43% had magnesium. Some wells had inefficient systems and remedies were suggested for the property owners. St. John’s Water Co would be the one to build the line and provide the service and its Board has not yet met to discuss this. There are 1000 homes on Wadmalaw and St.John’s is a non-profit and could not force residents to connect to a new water line. It would cost over $___million to run a water line onto Wadmalaw Island._A tap in fee would run around $2500 and then residents would have a monthly water bill and also have to run a waterline to their homes. Many of the houses are not close to the road. The waterline matter has been brought up before but with the recent news about the unsafe water in Flint, Michigan( due to the source of the water—a local polluted river), it has come up again. County Council will look into this situation and see what options there might be. Anna Johnson has suggested having a Public Health Committee work on this.

Henry Chavis mentioned locations on River Road where it would be good to get a reflector sign put next to live oaks which are close to the road. He will send photos and locations to Sam Brownlee who will make the appropriate contacts.

Treasurer’s Report:
Treasurer Sam Brownlee reported that the bank balance remains at $637.06. The Scholar’s Fund is at $375,514.42. This report was accepted. The Scholar’s Fund is currently a SC state nonprofit and the application for a Federal 501c3 is still in process.

Old Business:
Rich Thomas reported that County Council approved 5-3 the request for a PD on Maybank across from the entrance to Whitney Lakes. This has been discussed at previous meetings. Anna Johnson and Vic Rawl are in favor of letting the Maybank corridor grow. County will have to make a change in the Comprehensive Plan since this project does not respect those guidelines. County Planning had voted 8-0 to reject this request for a PD.
There has been no further information about the Fenwick Oak which was saved from removal before Christmas.
Thomas Legare said that the Burden’s Creek Bridge replacement project will not be done this year. The bids all came in too high. Hoopstick Creek Bridge is being rebid and will still start in September 2016.

New Business:
Secretary Catherine Poag suggested everyone should look at the updated John’s Island Council website that John Kozma has been working on. It has a lot of helpful information for residents of John’s Island and also has a connection to the John’s Island Council Facebook page. Catherine will contact the County Auditor to try to get information about the amount of tax dollars that Johns Island residents pay each year. There does not seem to be much that is being done to improve Johns Island and considerable City tax dollars go to downtown Charleston to pay for its projects. West Ashley seems to be set for receive major funding to renewal projects. It was mentioned that Josh Martin has been named a Senior Advisor to new Mayor John Tecklenberg.

There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 8:00PM.
Respectfully submitted,
Catherine Poag, Secretary