Berkeley County Council Update
First, thank you for the opportunity to serve. Second, thank you to The Daniel Island News for asking me to provide the first quarterly update from County Council.
There is great confusion on what the city does (police, fire, trash pick-up, parks, etc.) versus what the county does. For Daniel Island, the main functions of county government are EMS service, the library, and mosquito abatement. Of course, the county has stepped up and is funding the intersection improvement at Seven Farms Drive and Daniel Island Drive, which was the focus of a successful public meeting three weeks ago. Because the county’s role is limited, I wanted to give you a basic update on those three above items, just to reinforce what services the county does that affect you.
First, the library. In September there was a total of 58,487 items in circulation, 33,849 people visited our system, and 716 new library cards were issued. If we only looked at our branch, we circulated a total of 7,885 items (books, cd’s, videos, etc.) during August (the last available month of data). The library is a vibrant part of our community, and we can be proud of the service that system provides us, which is led by the Library Board’s Chairperson and Daniel Island resident Dr. Patricia Richards. I would also commend the Friends of the Library committee, who just held another successful house tour and continues to raise significant funds to enhance our Daniel Island branch. I recently met with their dedicated Chairwoman Vicki Danziger and we are in the process of improving several maintenance items at our branch. Finally, I would be remiss if I did not mention our own John Gilsenan’s efforts to raise more than $15,000 for the Lucy Boyle Fund to house a collection at our library. Please check it out.
The second function worth mentioning is our EMS service. This year alone, our EMS truck located on Daniel Island has responded to 761 calls as of October 31, 2016. Of those, 594 were responses to Zone 8, which includes Daniel Island. We are fortunate to have an ambulance stationed on the island proper, and I greatly appreciate our first responders, including our EMTs and paramedics.
Third, mosquito abatement: there have been 5 aerial applications and 27 truck/ground applications this year on Daniel Island proper. Please note that we receive notice of aerial application 24 hours in advance (check your email from the POA) and truck applications are posted daily on their website. I believe that if we did not have a strong mosquito abatement program, our island would be unbearable certain times of the year. However, recently, some constituents have expressed concern with the environmental impact of the spray. I am currently listening and learning and would appreciate your feedback on this most important issue. I want to support our abatement program in a way that considers environmental impact.
Finally, I hope everyone is enjoying the newly paved one-mile section of road on St. Thomas Island Drive that we were able to get done this year. Each councilman was given funds to resurface one mile of road and that mile was in desperate need of repair. I am proud we were the first project done in the county (thank you to Supervisor Peagler for his support) and have had great feedback on the improvement of that resurfacing project.
Thank you for your vote last Tuesday. I appreciate the opportunity to serve and will work hard to keep your trust.