Daufuskie Island is perhaps the most unique community in all of South Carolina.
The moderately sized barrier island slightly southwest of Hilton Head is only accessible by boat, yet has roughly 250 residents who live in an unusual combination of golf resorts and historic Gullah structures. But the island’s isolated nature has also caused problems with its needs and infrastructure, according to Daufuskie Island Council Chairman Charlie Small.
“We’re kind of down the pecking order as far as Beaufort County’s concerned,” Small told South Carolina Radio Network. “So we’re trying to reinvigorate the interest that they show us and it seems to be getting some traction.”
One idea now being floated is possibly incorporating the island into South Carolina’s newest town. The council has not endorsed the idea yet, however, instead asking residents to go online and fill out a survey. The news was first reported by the Hilton Head Island Packet newspaper.
Small cautioned the idea is still very much in its infancy and depends upon how residents answer the survey, which includes other topics beyond incorporating. “It’s going to be a slow process because we want to make sure we do it right and have the temperature of everybody on the island,” he said. “That’s very, very important to us that the whole island either commits to it, or they don’t.”
If residents do get behind the idea, he said the council would consider paying $15,000 for researchers at Clemson University’s Strom Thurmond Institute to study how a new town would be structured and governed. The final proposal would be presented to residents again before any action is taken on incorporation, he said.