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Beaufort County Council approved a $142.1 million budget for the 2023 fiscal year. The proposed budget can be found at beaufortcountysc.gov/budget. Budget highlights include: 7% increase in tax revenue from population growth that led to a $6.2 million budget increase; $1.7 million in new county positions; highlights include $105,840 for deputy human resources director and $701,906 to run the 60-and- Better program and expand services.

Congaree Golf Club in Jasper County will host The CJ Cup the week of Oct. 17-23. The CJ Cup in South Carolina will feature a 78-man field. Last year Congaree hosted the Palmetto Championship. The Tom Fazio-designed course is off U.S. 278 near Gillisonville

The Moss Creek community expanded its racquet center with the addition of pickleball courts. Phase One of the project includes four courts, with an additional four courts planned in the next phase. The Moss Creek Racquet Center will offer a full slate of leagues, tournaments, clinics and instructional programs.

WIP AWARDS $111,000 IN GRANTS

Women in Philanthropy awarded $91,327 from the Women in Philanthropy Endowment Fund to four Beaufort County nonprofit organizations. An additional grant of $19,725 was awarded from the Dr. Julianne Bluitt Foster Memorial Fund, established from a bequest entrusted to support Women in Philanthropy. The $25,000 grants were awarded to Good Neighbor Free Medical Clinic; Low Country Legal Volunteers and The Children’s Center. Bluffton Self Help was awarded $16,325. The $19,725 grant from the Dr. Juliann Bluitt Foster Memorial Fund was awarded to Hopeful Horizons.

HILTON HEAD UNVEILS PROPOSALS FOR MID-ISLAND PARK

BY HILTON HEAD MONTHLY

Hilton Head Town Council is getting closer to finalizing one of the island’s biggest initiatives.

Recently the town council received an overview of plans proposed for the town-owned Mid-Island Tract and overall Mid-Island Initiative Area. Mayor John McCann believes the plans will “transform” the island.

TAX REBATES, ELECTION REFORMS HIGHLIGHT STATE LEGISLATIVE SESSION

BY MARK E. LETT

Sweeping election reforms —approved unanimously — by state lawmakers were part of this year’s state legislative session.

State Rep. Shannon Erickson, R-Beaufort County, said the efforts of Hilton Head resident Xiaodan Li and a group of Lowcountry citizen activists was instrumental in clearing the air — and clearing a path — for members of both parties to come together around election upgrades.

Incumbent P.J. Tanner defeated challenger JoJo Woodward in the Republican primary for Beaufort County Sheriff. Tanner received 62.4 percent of the vote to Woodward’s 37.6 percent.

For Beaufort County Council, in District 6 Tab Tabernik defeated Mike Covert (55.9 to 44.1 percent). In District 8, Paula Brown defeated John Zmarzly (55.4 to 44.6 percent). Incumbent Mark Lawson defeated Shellie West Hodges (67 to 33 percent) in District 9.

Bluffton and Hardeeville continue to grow. The U.S. Census Bureau released its 2021 population estimates by municipality which showed the state’s population grew 1.4 percent to 5.19 million residents in 2021 over 2020.

Bluffton ranks No. 1 and Hardeeville No. 8 among the fastest-growing cities based on population.

The town of Bluffton’s planning commission approved a preliminary development agreement for new townhomes. The proposed development, Indigo Cove Townhomes, which is at the northeast corner of Bluffton Parkway and Buck Island Road, is set for 23 acres. It will consist of 83 single-family units. Developers will next present an updated agreement to the development review committee.