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County Council, October 17

Contract awarded for IOP Connector widening
New bar closing ordinance to be implemented in December times
Warwick Jones

The agendas for last night’s meetings were bare. The award of a contract to widen the Isle of Palms Connector was on that of the Finance Committee. The $2.37 million contract was awarded to Banks Construction. It entails work – earthmoving, paving, storm water drains, and traffic lights - from the intersection with I-17 to Riviera Drive, a distance of about a mile. Councilmember Schweers asked why there was only one bidder and would the improvements be finished before “beach” time next year. Staff responded saying that there were few firms with the skill and equipment to undertake the contract. And yes, the improvements would be finished before “beach” season. Council member Schweers also acknowledged that he thought Banks Construction did excellent work.

There was also a public hearing on delaying implementation of the County’s bar closing ordinance until December 1, 2013. Earlier this year, the County moved to close bars in the unincorporated area between 2 am and 6 am. This was in line with the regulations in the Cities of Charleston and North Charleston, and the Town of Mount Pleasant. However, some of the smaller municipalities had different or ambiguous closing times. By delaying the implementation of the new County ordinance, it was hoped that these municipalities would move to bring their ordinances in line with the County’s.

No member of the public rose to speak at the hearing. Council then gave the third reading to the Ordinance. After discussion between staff and Council members, it still was not clear as to the response of all the municipalities. Ravenel and Hollywood had indicated a willingness to make changes to their ordinances and Meggett was to still consider it. James Island was aware of the County’s hope but had made no commitment. Council member Qualey whose district covers James Island opined that the new town would amend its ordinance. The attitude of Awendaw was not reported.

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