Beaufort County Council set ambitious goals for 2013 Saturday, focusing on the region's long-term economic development and infrastructure needs.
These "top priorities," set on what was the final day of a three-day planning retreat, urge definitive action on several fronts, including the Bluffton Parkway realignment project.
The council also wants to study capital spending needs ahead of a possible 2014 referendum and consider future land acquisitions for a possible transfer station, detention center and other facilities.
Ahead of the reassessment that will affect fall property tax bills, the council agreed -- at least initially -- to adjust tax rates upward to offset reduced property values countywide. This process is known as "roll forward" because tax rates rise just enough to bring in the same amount of money as the previous year.
Staff will prepare a budget that assumes a "roll forward." The council could still later trim the budget to help those who would owe more even though their properties are worth less.
The retreat, led by professional facilitator Lyle Sumek, was held at the new St. Helena Library that opened last fall at Penn Center.
Here are the issues council hopes to address in 2013.
While those are the council's top priorities, they are by no means all it wants to accomplish in 2013.
Other goals include adding hours to the county's library branches, evaluating business license fees and finding a permanent answer to the Daufuskie Island ferry issue.
Follow reporter Casey Conley at twitter.com/IPBG_Casey.
Related content:County council retreat produces 10 top priorities, Feb. 18, 2012