Edisto Beach Council wages battles with drainage and deer

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In a regular virtual Edisto Beach Town Council meeting Nov. 12, council members discussed business related to proposed changes to golf cart decals, the deer population and drainage issues.

The council held a second reading for a proposed ordinance to amend golf cart decal laws. All applications will be made at town hall. Decals will be valid for three years and must be displayed on the left front. Owners must have proof of registration with SCDMV. Leases or ownership must be proven. All carts must have a rear-view mirror. The fee is $15. Golf carts will not be able to park on the street or public property without a decal. The fine is $100 for each offense. There must be one more reading for approval.

• The Town of Edisto Beach requested the Folk Land Management conduct a Deer Spotlight Survey in September. Over 300 acres were surveyed, or 21 percent of the town, including marsh habitat.

Over 90 deer were observed, mostly at night. A greater number of deer habitat werefound in the south end of the island. Unfortunately, homeowners feeding the deer have contributed to the high numbers observed in those areas. If the deer population continues to grow to a level where there is notable damage to vegetation, then public safety is at risk and there may need to be culling.

“We have already seen that we have a deer problem and large population,” said Mayor Jane Darby. “Our deer are not normal. They are seen at all hours of the day here, not just at night.”

• Flooding problems have been an ongoing problem for Edisto Beach. In 2014, the South Carolina Department of Transportation and the town implemented the first phase of a drainage plan in this area.  Cross-drains were installed across Palmetto Boulevard, and drainage ditches were deepened.  Phase II of this project is to determine additional improvements to drainage in this area which may include installation of pipes. 

For information only, Engineer Mike Horton of Davis and Floyd gave the council recommendations for improving flooding near Arch and Billow Streets.

He deployed rain gauges and collected data from the lagoons, ditches and pipes throughout storms in July. He discovered the following:

• Myrtle Street drainage pipes are clogged and need to be cleaned.

• Some continuous piping have different sized pipes. As the water flows through a larger pipe, it comes up against a smaller pipe and slows down, then backs up.

• During a heavy storm, water accumulates up to six inches in some areas.

• Horton used computer models to determine drainage performance and to predict nuisance flooding issues due to flow problems where land is flat to create a new system.

• 130 acres break up into 46 small watersheds that need study.

Horton’s recommendations are as follows:

• Install new pipes that are of a uniform size.

• Work on the lagoon systems with larger drainage areas.

• Work on Arch and Billow Streets that are bowl-shaped and low-lying.

• Grading improvements.

• Some ditches may need piping.

• Construction issues need to be completed first, then aesthetics.

No action was taken so that the council may study the recommendations.

• The council approved the installation of more cameras throughout the town at a cost of $16,120.

• The Town of Edisto also requested $320,000 from Accommodations Tax Advisory Board for Edisto Beach Spot Nourishment Project 2020 from Hurricane Dorian damage. The request was approved.

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