IOP City Council votes to fund $500,000 dredging project

ISLE OF PALMS, SC (WCSC) - The Isle of Palms City Council unanimously voted to fund a $500,000 dredging project on Tuesday, which will replace sand the city's beach lost because of Hurricane Irma.

The city's coastline lost about 281,000 cubic yards of sand after the storm.

Combined with sand losses after Hurricane Matthew, the city is short about 500,000 cubic yards of sand.

Many people who frequent the beach on Isle of Palms said they have noticed the difference in sand since Irma hit in September.

"All of the dunes are pretty much gone, essentially," frequent beach-goer Quintin Smith said.

The $500,000 will be applied to a current sand dredging project the city is funding.

The extra cost will be added to increase the amount of sand dredged.

Isle of Palms Mayor Jimmy Carroll says paying for the project now will ultimately save thousands of dollars in the long-run.

"If we had to do it on a separate dredging project, we'd have to re-mobilize the dredge, the pipes, the tractors and everything," Carroll said.

One reason the city has to pay so much is because the state is not helping pay for restoration like it did after Hurricane Matthew.

Wild Dunes has agreed to pay $150,000 dollars of that $500,000 total.

Most beach-goers said they are excited to see their beach replenished.

"It definitely would be helpful for a lot of the businesses,  just to be able to see the beach and stuff going on," Laura Roberts said.

The city will pay for the $350,000 it is responsible for mainly by tapping into its beach preservation fund.

It will also use some money from a contingency fund already set in place for the current dredging project.

"With this being a tourist area, I feel like that money would be back in no time to the area," Smith said.

City Council members said they expect the dredging to be finished by March.

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