Isle of Palms City official look at long-term relief

Long-term solution

The city council has voted to start the permitting process for an off shore dredging project that would replenish the disappearing sand.
Mayor Mike Sottile said, “Dredging is a long-term solution. We have a plan to go by.”
Sottile went on to say that the long-term beach management plan is not just for those affected in Wild Dunes but for the entire beach front of Isle of Palms.
If the off-shore dredging-permit process began now, it would be at least one year before sand could be pumped to the beach.

Whose dollars?

Sottile said that the city has been in contact with South Carolina state representatives Chip Campsen (R) and Ben Hagood (R) about acquiring state funding.
The island’s tourism industry brought in more than $2 million alone in accommodations taxes.
The Wild Dunes resort community is a large part of the tourism.
“This affects the city and state,” said Sottile.
Because there is no public beach access at Wild Dunes, an issue that seems to keep coming up is if funding for the beach nourishment should come from Isle of Palms tax revenues.
At the time the lack of public beach access at Wild Dunes prohibits spending state beach renourishment funds.
City administrator Linda Lovvorn Tucker estimated that the permit would cost anywhere from $300,000 to $500,000 dollars.
The cost of harvesting sand offshore and nourishing the effected area of the beach is expected to cost in the millions.

For now

The city awaits approval of its local beach management plan that would make public areas of the island eligible for state beach renourishment funding.
Sottile said, “We are moving in the right direction. It takes time to get environmental permits.”

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