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Treasure Island may replace bridges
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TREASURE ISLAND – Still stinging from the aftermath of building a new causeway bridge, and the subsequent loss of tens of thousands of dollars of revenue from the lack of tolls, the Treasure Island City Commission learned it would likely have to replace two more bridges.

And like the new causeway bridge, the federal government may come to the rescue.

At the July 21 city commission meeting and workshop, Public Works Director Jim Murphy informed the commission that the bridges over waterways connecting the Isle of Capri and Isle of Palms communities to the island are in a high state of disrepair.

“Both bridges are over 50 years old and have structural issues,” Murphy said. “In bridge assessments, the Isle of Capri bridge was ranked 55 and Isle of Palms 44 out of 100.”

In short, they will need to be replaced soon, which would run into the millions of dollars. But as part of the federal government’s recent economic stimulus package, several millions of dollars have been set aside for bridge repair.

But to obtain the grant money, the window is limited. The city only has a few weeks to apply for the grant.

Murphy noted the city’s engineering firm, Volker and Associates, studied the grant requirements and the condition of the bridges and is of the opinion the city would be able to qualify for the grant monies.

But there is little time to waste, Murphy urged. Specifically, the paperwork needs to be filed by Sept. 15. He asked the city to spend some $10,900 to pay for the costs of applying for the grant and to process the necessary paperwork.

There was little if any debate from the commission.

“I think we need to move on this quickly,” Commissioner Alan Bildz said.

Carol Coward echoed Bildz saying, “We need to move as fast as we can as we don’t know when we will have this opportunity again.”

City to buy more parking meters

The city agreed to purchase a fleet of new parking meters that City Manager Reid Silverboard said would bring the city an additional $50,000 annually from parking enforcement citations.

Coward was concerned that the quote may be grandiose unless the city strictly enforced the parking ordinances, hinting that police are already stretched thin.

Silverboard confessed he was not open to hiring an additional employee, a meter maid, for the sole purpose of writing parking citations. He assured Coward that parking codes are already enforced and that the new meters would bring in the additional revenue without hiring a meter maid.

Millage workshop scheduled

The commission set a date for a workshop dealing with the budget for the fiscal year 2009-10 for Aug. 18 at 5 p.m. The commission tentatively set the millage rate at 2.75, equivalent to about $2.75 for every $1,000 of assessed property value. The current rate is 2.49 mills.
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