Mar 1 Section A1-10.indd

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Mar 1 Section A1-10.indd
COASTAL OBSERVER
Vol. XXX No. 36
Pawleys Island, South Carolina ~ March 1, 2012
50 cents
Council puts 1-cent sales tax to a vote
BY JACKIE R. BROACH
COASTAL OBSERVER
The question of a 1-cent sales tax to
help pay for capital projects in Georgetown County is a step closer to being
posed to voters.
County Council members unanimously passed a resolution on Tuesday to cre-
POST OFFICE
ate a six-member commission that will
be tasked with coming up with a specific
list of projects the sales tax would fund
and determining the wording of the referendum that would appear on the November ballot. Both must be approved
by council before the referendum is a
guarantee.
Council has 90 days to appoint the
members of the commission, said Wesley Bryant, the county attorney. Three
members of the commission would be
chosen by council and three others by
municipalities within the county.
There was no discussion of the resolution before the vote — at least not publicly. Council went into executive session
to receive legal advice before it voted.
Bryant said the session was an opportunity for him to make council aware of basic legalities surrounding the resolution,
commission and sales tax funds.
Council was clear to point out that
it did not vote for a tax increase, but to
give the public another option for funding capital projects. If the sales tax is
SEE “SALES TAX,” PAGE 4
PAWLEYS ISLAND
DEAD DOG SALOON | Murrells Inlet pulls together
$99K home
could add
$50K kitchen
under change
in town rules
Dead
letter
Customers raise
few eyebrows
at slower delivery
of 1st class mail
BY CHARLES SWENSON
COASTAL OBSERVER
BY JACKIE R. BROACH
COASTAL OBSERVER
First-class letters going to
and from the Pawleys Island
area will take an extra day to
reach their destinations after
the Postal Service closes its
Florence mail processing and
distribution facility.
Mail processed at the facility
will go to Columbia for processing instead. The only difference
consumers will notice is that
the service standard for letters
mailed first-class will change
from 1-3 days to 2-3 days, said
Harry Spratlin, a spokesman
for the postal service.
Priority and Express mail,
as well as package services
(parcel post) won’t be affected.
The closure of the Florence
facility is a result of declining
mail volume. First-class mail
volume sent through the postal service has decreased 25 percent since 2006.
That equates to 43 billion
fewer pieces of mail, and the
trend is expected to continue,
Spratlin said.
“We’re really just shrinking
down to match our resources
to the demand that American
people are giving us,” he said.
Janet Burton of Litchfield
Country Club, said she doesn’t
use first-class mail often, but
she’s still a little concerned
about the additional delay and
that it could cause bills and
other time-sensitive materials
to arrive late. She pays most
of her bills online, she said, but
“not everyone can do that. A lot
of people still don’t have computers.”
Mary Ellen Cordeiro isn’t
bothered by the longer delivery time since it doesn’t affect
Priority mail. She mostly mails
small packages and usually
sends them Priority, she said.
With employees spread
across the Southeast and as far
SEE “MAIL,” PAGE 4
Inside this issue
Photos by Tanya Ackerman/Coastal Observer
Work began the day after the Ash Wednesday fire to clean up and rebuild.
Counting down 90 days
BY JACKIE R. BROACH
COASTAL OBSERVER
A week ago Charlie Campbell stared in horror at the
blackened beams and smoldering embers where the Dead
Dog Saloon once stood.
The Murrells Inlet restaurant, which Campbell owns,
burned in the early morning
hours of Feb. 22. No one was
hurt, but dozens were left unemployed.
It was devastating, but devastation has turned to determination and Campbell is now focused on the future.
“We’ve kind of moved beyond
the mourning stage and we’re
on the fast track for rebuilding. That’s a lot more fun than
watching it come down,” Campbell said.
He refers to the burn site as
the phoenix. “It’s not the Dead
Dog anymore,” he said. But it
will be again soon.
Campbell hired A&I Fire
and Water Restoration to handle the construction and they’re
about halfway through the de-
bris removal. He expected to
have blueprints for the new
building to the Georgetown
County Planning Department
before it closes today.
“They’re wanting to go fast
and we’re going to expedite
what we can on our end,” said
Boyd Johnson, the county plan-
ning director.
Once the permitting is taken care of and the green light is
given for construction, officials
with A&I hope to have the restaurant ready to open within
90 days, according to Campbell.
While that would be nice, he
SEE “DEAD DOG,” PAGE 3
Even as they took steps to restore a limit on the value of renovations to homes before they
have to be brought into compliance with town zoning rules,
the Pawleys Island Planning
Commission this week agreed
that it wants to do away with
the so-called “50-percent rule”
that was struck down by a Circuit Court judge last year.
That means the town may
allow buildings that don’t conform to the zoning rules to remain as they are even if they
are improved.
Until the court ruling, the
town required anyone who did
renovations equal to or exceeding 50 percent of the value of
a home to bring it into compliance with setbacks, roof pitch
and other regulations.
That policy was challenged
in a suit stemming from a dispute between neighbors in the
island’s Birds Nest section. The
case was heard by the Board of
Zoning Appeals, and Georgetown County’s chief building official, who works for the town
under contract, testified that
the 50-percent rule only applies
to homes that are damaged.
The case reached the Circuit
Court, where a judge affirmed
the building official’s interpretation of the ordinance.
The Planning Commission
this week recommended that
Town Council amend the zoning ordinance to restore the 50
percent rule, but only while it
reviews the need for the rule.
Commission member Walter
McElveen said someone with
a home valued at $99,000 (not
including the land) ought to be
able to do a $50,000 renovation
to the kitchen without triggering other changes to bring the
home into compliance with the
zoning rules.
“That’s some kitchen,” commission member Bill Tuttle
said.
SEE “TOWN,” PAGE 4
EDUCATION | Pawleys Island Christian Academy
High school starts with a freshman class
BY CHARLES SWENSON
COASTAL OBSERVER
Where the wild things are:
This weekend they will be
at the Winyah Bay Heritage
Festival in Georgetown.
Also, class teaches how to
become a master naturalist.
SECOND FRONT
Crime ...................................9
Opinion............................. 10
What’s On ......................... 14
Crossword........................ 15
Classifieds.........................17
Sports................................ 19
On the Internet
www.coastalobserver.com
Pawleys Island Christian
Academy will add a freshman
class in the fall, making it the
third high school on Waccamaw
Neck as it grows over the next
four years.
The school opened in 2001
with 55 students in pre-K
through fifth grade. It now has
115 students through eighth
grade.
“Parents who have children
currently in the school want to
see a high school,” said Sherry
Hubach, president of the Parent Teacher Organization who
has two children at the school.
There are six students in the
eighth grade class, about half
the number in last year’s class,
said Billy Cox, a middle school
teacher who also has two children enrolled at the school.
The school expects to attract
other students into the freshman class and is prepared to
Six eighthgraders are
expected to
be the nucleus of the
new high
school’s
first class.
Tanya Ackerman/
Coastal Observer
take some sophomores if they
apply. “This is where we’re
stepping out on faith,” said Hubach, a member of the board
and its high school committee.
There is already space for
high school classrooms on its
campus at Pawleys Island Community Church. The school is a
ministry of the church.
The school got its start
around the dining room table of
the Rev. Don Williams, senior
pastor of the church. His wife,
Ginny, was the first principal.
“We’re going to start off
slow,” Williams said. He expects 14 or 15 students in the
freshman class. Informational
meetings for parents and prospective students will be scheduled in the next few weeks.
A high school has always
been envisioned for Pawleys Island Christian Academy. “We
just wanted to make sure we
had the foundation set,” Williams said.
SEE “ACADEMY,” PAGE 5

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