JAMES ISLAND, SC (WCSC) - James Island is officially a town for the fourth time. On Monday, the secretary of state gave town leaders a certificate of incorporation.
The new town limits are much smaller than before, now with just over 11,000 residents. Before, about 18,000 people lived on James Island. Residents and businesses are very happy about this fourth incorporation.
But, things aren't back in business yet until new town leaders are elected.
It's been about a year since the state supreme court ruled the Town of James Island could no longer be a town. But on Monday there was reason to celebrate.
Secretary of State Mark Hammond hand delivered the town's certificate of incorporation.
"I'm really happy to make this final step. I'll really be happy after July 31 when whoever becomes mayor and whoever becomes council really starts business, starts bringing some staff back," former mayor Bill Woolsey said.
Former town leaders and volunteers spent months trying to incorporate the town into its own municipality. The process included submitting paperwork and a feasibility study to the state.
"We were very excited to get overwhelming support. It's been a lot of work," Woolsey said.
As a town of its own, James Island residents will raise taxes as a public service district to pay for trash and fire service. Town leaders and staff will also handle zoning and building issues.
Law enforcement protection will be provided by the Charleston County Sheriff's Office.
Meanwhile, the filing period for the office of mayor and a four-person town council opens at noon. That election is scheduled for July 31. The filing fee is $100.
No official town business will begin until officials are elected.