JIPSD Newsletter--Mayor's Response 

The new Chair of the James Island Public Service District, June Waring, signed an article in the District’s newsletter responding to the Town’s May proposal for tax relief.   I wrote the Commissioners sharing a proposal to allow the JIPSD to lower their taxes significantly rather than increase them by nearly 4%.   The proposal was for the JIPSD to transfer service rights for solid waste collection to the Town, and for the Town to pay the JIPSD to continue to pick up garbage and solid waste in the Town by contract.   I later offered to negotiate on the basis of keeping two day a week service in the Town.   My proposal included a Town property tax millage.  Since the Town is legally required to provide a tax credit against its own millage, the burden on Town taxpayers would have been significantly reduced.

When the JIPSD passed a budget with no tax reduction in June, the Town moved forward with an alternative plan.   It is now well past the deadline to make changes in the 2015 tax bill.   At this time, I am not asking the JIPSD to negotiate anything.

The Town has introduced a millage and is providing the required tax credit.   The Town has no need to pay the JIPSD for solid waste service since they will collect increased property taxes in the Town to pay that cost.  The Town is using the revenue instead to pay for a new Town Hall by lease purchase agreement.   The Town’s is providing a large enough tax credit so that no one will have to pay any property tax to the Town.

None of the criticisms in the JIPSD newsletter have merit.   Both the South Carolina Constitution and Code make provision for a special purpose district like the JIPSD to collect reduced property tax in a municipality like the Town if there is a difference in the services being funded by the tax.  Further, the Constitution and the Code also provide for a special purpose district to provide services by contract to a municipality.   

The Town has always been willing to pay a fair share of the cost of JIPSD services. Contrary to claims in the JIPSD newsletter, there would be no increase in costs or tax burden on those in the unincorporated area of the JIPSD.   Nearly all were in the Town before 2011, and after the Town is reunited, they will all be in the Town again.   I would never propose or agree to a plan that would be unfair to our former and future citizens.

The JIPSD Commissioners need to be reminded that they are not the owners of a private corporation but are elected officials accountable to the voters.   There are less than 14,000 registered voters in the JIPSD and more 9,000 of them are citizens of the Town.   Sadly, the JIPSD newsletter threatens to take away the right of citizens in the Town to vote for JIPSD Commissioner while continuing to have the Town pay for services.  Further, it proposes that the JIPSD have the Town pay for solid waste collection services without picking up any garbage or trash in the Town.   I will never accept such an injustice.   And I doubt that the nearly 2/3 of JIPSD voters who reside in the Town will do so either.

In my view, tax relief will have to wait until there is a majority of JIPSD Commissioners who are willing to cooperate with the Town.   Until that time, there is nothing to discuss.


Mayor Bill Woolsey

Posted by Bill Monday, August 10, 2015 4:42:00 PM

Traffic Alert: Nighttime Lane Closures continue for the Harbor View Road Improvements Project 

  July 31, 2015

                                                                                                  Release Number: 3930

Shawn Smetana, Public Information Officer
Phone: (843) 958-4007 / Fax: (843) 958-4004
Email: ssmetana@charlestoncounty.org

Project website: http://roads.charlestoncounty.org/projects/harborviewroad/

Traffic Alert: Nighttime Lane Closures continue for the Harbor View Road Improvements Project

Charleston County Government announces nighttime lane closures will continue August 2, 2015.  Crews will be working on Harbor View Road for the Harbor View Road Improvements project. All work is weather permitting.


August 2 – August 9:


  • Nighttime lane closures will occur on Harbor View Road.
  • The work will occur between 8 p.m. and 6 a.m. Sunday through Thursday nights and between 7 p.m. and 8 a.m. Friday through Saturday nights.
  • Flagmen will be on site to control traffic.
  • At no time will the entire roadway be blocked to traffic.
  • Drivers will have access to businesses and residential properties along Harbor View Road at all times.
  • At least one lane will remain open to traffic under flagging operations.
  • Drivers traveling through the project’s construction zone are asked to be aware of equipment and crews working in the area at all times.


The purpose of the Harbor View Road Improvements project is to improve traffic flow and safety on Harbor View Road and to provide adequate bicycle and pedestrian facilities. The scheduled completion of the project is expected in fall 2016.


The project will include the addition of a center two-way left turn lane between North Shore Drive and Affirmation Boulevard, the addition of right turn lanes at major intersections, the addition of traffic signals at Fort Sumter Drive and Mikell Drive, the construction of a roundabout at the intersection of Harbor View Road and Fort Johnson Road and the addition of pedestrian and bicycle facilities.


Visit the official website at http://roads.charlestoncounty.org for public meeting notices and up-to-date news and information about all Charleston County Transportation Sales Tax road projects. Anyone with questions about the project can call Charleston County’s Transportation Development Department at (843) 202-6140.


For information on Charleston County Government news and services, the public can:


- Prepared by the Charleston County Public Information Office -

Posted by Robin Monday, August 3, 2015 1:45:00 PM

Request for Qualification (RFQ) Interviews Scheduled 

The Town of James Island Evaluation Committee will interview three (3) firms that submitted Request for Qualifications (RFQ) for a Town Hall. Interviews are scheduled as follows:


Thursday, August 6, at 3 p.m. - Creech and Associates

Thursday, August 6, at 4 p.m. - Liollio Architecture

Tuesday, August 11, at 4 p.m. - Rosenblum Coe



Posted by Frances Monday, August 3, 2015 12:22:00 PM

New Town Hall 

Over twenty years ago, our first Mayor, Joan Sooy, purchased property for a Town Hall.    When the City of Charleston and the South Carolina Supreme Court took the first Town away from the people of James Island, that property was lost, but not the dream.   Now that we have a fourth and final incorporation, the Town is ready to move forward.

I made the announcement at the February Council meeting and it was thoroughly discussed at the Budget Workshop in March. We pay $70,000 a year for our rented storefront and there was a strong consensus on Council that we should instead make a permanent investment in a new home.   The Town’s 2015-16 budget, which passed unanimously in June, included $200,000 towards the Town Hall.

I hope Council will select an architect and engineering firm at our August meeting.   One of that firm’s first tasks will be a needs assessment for the proper size of our Town Hall.  I have been thinking that we will need between 25% and 50% more space than our current 4400 square feet—somewhere between 5500 and 7000 square feet, but any final decision must wait.   Of course, affordability will also be a major concern.   One of our criterion for design will be a Town Hall that is "addition friendly."

In February, I proposed funding Town Hall with a bond issue.  Municipalities cannot have mortgages like homeowners or even businesses.   After discussion with our bond attorney, we discovered that if the Town sells bonds, South Carolina law requires that we put a millage on the tax bill.   I believe that the Town would be required to provide a property tax credit against the resulting tax liability.  Of course, I would want to provide such a credit rather than increase taxes on the property owners of our Town.

After further discussions with our attorneys, we determined that lease purchase is a better option than a bond sale.   Therefore, the Town has introduced a property tax millage for payment for Town Hall by lease purchase agreement.   The Town will also use a small part of the funds to maintain a reserve.   As part of the review of the Town's Emergency Plan this spring, our consultant recommended that we begin a reserve fund.

The Town is also providing a property tax credit against this millage.  The credit will be sufficient to zero out the tax liability for all taxpayers.   While the millage will appear on the tax bill, so will a tax credit equal to the amount of the tax liability.   The net tax liability due to the Town will be zero.   The Town's proposal to fund Town Hall will not increase anyone's property tax.

In South Carolina, property tax millage is part of the annual budget process.   If the millage is not renewed each year, it will be removed.   In effect, property tax automatically has a "sunset" provision each and every year.   I anticipate asking Council to continue on the current course in the 2016-17 fiscal year.   If, however, Council does not approve the millage, the minimum lease payments for Town Hall will still be affordable.  Unfortunately, we would have to slow down other capital improvements like paving roads and completing sidewalks for a substantial period of time.   The more we pay now, the sooner Town Hall will be paid off and the smaller the total cost.   I believe the approach to funding Town Hall that was approved by Council by a 3-2 vote is in the best interest of the Town.

Mayor Bill Woolsey

Posted by Bill Saturday, August 1, 2015 9:08:00 AM

County Funding Approved for Camp Road Sidewalk 

Charleston County Council approved the Town's request for matching funds for construction of the Camp Road Sidewalk Phase II.

This is Transportation Sales Tax (TST)  funding.  The Town will use $85,000 of Town funds and Charleston County will match that with $85,000 of TST money.  The Town has already funded the design work.

Phase II of the Camp Road Sidewalk project will provide sidewalk along Camp Road between Dills Bluff Road and Secessionville Road.  

We hope that construction will be completed in the Spring of 2016

Thank you to Charleston County Council for helping the Town of James Island with this project.



Posted by Bill Thursday, July 30, 2015 3:27:00 PM
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