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Action Heating & Air Conditioning in Johns Island, SC

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South Carolina is one of the most beautiful places in the United States to call home. However, our local weather can be extreme – high temps and thick humidity in the summer and chilly winter weather during cold months. As a local HVAC company in Johns Island, SC, we know how crucial it is to have a quality HVAC system in your home and experienced technicians to keep it working correctly.

With more than 35 years of serving the Lowcountry, we are proud to be an active part of our local community. As your neighbors, we are here for all of your HVAC needs, whether you need a new AC unit installed this summer or a heat pump replacement this winter. With a reliable team of NATE-certified technicians and decades of experience in our industry, no HVAC project is too big or small for us to handle.

We offer highly competitive pricing and convenient financing options for all of our clients. At the end of the day, our goal is to make it easy and affordable to live comfortably in your home all year long. We are committed to hard work, honesty, and integrity with every service we offer. If you aren’t 100% satisfied with our work, we’ll do our part to make it right.

Service Areas

Here are just a few of the reasons why homeowners and business owners in South Carolina trust Action Heating & Air Conditioning:

  • We have been serving clients in South Carolina since 1983 – before many of our clients were even born!
  • We provide a wide range of HVAC services for both heating and air conditioning.
  • We are committed to giving our clients the highest quality products and services at affordable prices.
  • As a Carrier® Factory Authorized Dealer, we have the best HVAC units available.
  • We are members of the South Carolina Association of Heating and Air Conditioning Contractors.
  • We are members of our local Chamber of Commerce and the Air Conditioning Contractors of America.

If you need a trusted AC repair company in Johns Island, know that our team is geared up and ready to help you today. While you browse our website, have a look at just a few of our specialties here at Action Heating & Air Conditioning:

Air Conditioning Repair in Johns Island, SC

Summers in the Lowcountry are hot, humid, and sticky. After a long day at the beach or downtown with your friends, nothing feels better than kicking back on the sofa while your air conditioning cools you off. On the other hand, nothing feels worse than walking into your home and feeling warm, stale air hit your face. Those who know, know – having your AC go out during a South Carolina summer is no joke. With time, a relatively minor inconvenience can turn into a real health problem.

In situations like these, something has probably gone wrong with your HVAC system. If your AC has stopped working in the middle of summer, it’s time to call Action Heating & Air Conditioning right away. Our team of certified HVAC professionals has years of experience repairing and servicing AC equipment. It doesn’t matter how old your unit is or what brand you bought – we have the skills to get your home comfort system up and running in no time.

Here are just a few of the AC issues that our talented team can help solve for you:
Air Conditioning Drainage Block

Air Conditioning Drainage Block

Over time, condensation builds up in your AC equipment because of its cooling process. This accumulated byproduct must be drained regularly, or the increased amounts of moisture can damage your air conditioner’s components.

Air Conditioning Drainage Block

Air Conditioning Refrigerant Leak

Refrigerant is the substance responsible for keeping your home nice and cool in the summer. When refrigerant levels drop due to a leak, it will affect your AC equipment’s ability to cool your home. If your HVAC unit isn’t blowing cold air, this could be a reason why.

Air Conditioning Drainage Block

Heater Keeps Running

This is a common AC issue in South Carolina and the U.S. in general. Sometimes this problem is fixed by switching your thermostat to “auto.” If that doesn’t work, you may have a broken thermostat or a wiring issue that needs to be addressed quickly.

Air Conditioning Drainage Block

Burning Odors

It’s normal for your heater to produce a slight burning smell if it hasn’t been used in a while. However, if you are experiencing a persistent burning smell during the summer months when your air conditioning is on, it could be a serious problem. Turn off your HVAC system immediately and call our office as soon as possible so that we may send out a technician to diagnose your problem.

Air Conditioning Drainage Block

Broken Air Conditioning Compressor Fan

This fan plays an important role in your AC unit’s heat transfer process. When your air conditioning fan breaks, your AC equipment won’t be able to cool your home off in the summer when it’s needed the most.

Our Special Offers

One of our goals as a company is to provide HVAC repair services at fair and competitive prices. In addition, we want you to feel confident about investing in high-quality heating and cooling systems without having to worry a lot about the costs. We make sure to provide honest and accurate quotes and we offer a variety of financing options. We want you to get the best bang for your buck, so here are some special offers.

See Our Offer

If you are experiencing any of the problems above, be sure to hire a professional contractor to fix your issues. For your safety, don’t ever try to make HVAC repairs on your own unless you are trained. When the time come to have your air conditioning system repaired, our team of licensed AC technicians will handle all of the hard work on your behalf. That way, you can stay safe and have peace of mind knowing you’re in good hands.

Air Conditioning Install in Johns Island, SC

Your HVAC system works hard all year long. If you have gone years without much maintenance or AC repair, you probably bought a great HVAC unit. However, with constant use and even normal wear and tear, even the highest-quality HVAC systems are prone to malfunctions. Eventually, it will need to be replaced.

If you need an energy-efficient, reliable cooling system for your home or business, you have come to the right place. We have decades of experience installing new AC systems for our clients and can handle any installation project you have. As a Carrier® Factory Authorized Dealer, we have the most top-rated AC systems available in South Carolina.

At Action Heating & Air Conditioning, we know that buying a new air conditioner and installing it can be a huge source of stress. But when you work with us, it doesn’t have to be that way. We have made it our mission to make the AC installation process easy and efficient for our customers. That way, they can focus more on living life and enjoying their home while we work hard on their AC install in Johns Island.

Whether you plan to replace a faulty air conditioning system or need a Carrier unit for your new construction home, we have got you covered. We will work with you directly to find the best fit for your home and budget. We are also happy to answer all of your AC installation questions prior to and during your initial service appointment.

Common Signs That You Need a New AC Install in Johns Island, SC

Trying to figure out whether your air conditioner needs to be repaired or replaced can be a tricky decision to make. Most people have a hard time letting things go, and that includes AC units. It can be hard to know when to let go of the old and welcome in the new. To help save you time and make your decision a little easier, keep the following signs in mind. If you find yourself saying, “that sounds like my AC unit,” it might be time for a new air conditioning installation.

Strange Noises

Almost all air conditioners make a bit of low-level noise as they warm up and turn off. However, if you hear loud, unusual noises, it might be a sign that your air conditioner’s time is coming to an end. Buzzing and rattling noises are often indicators of a loose part. Grinding and whistling noises may mean something more serious is happening. Because these issues won’t dissipate over time, it’s crucial to have your air conditioner examined if you hear loud, strange noises.

Frequent Repairs

Johns Island AC repair is essential for keeping your air conditioner working efficiently. Sometimes, however, it makes more sense from a cost perspective to install a replacement system. This is especially true if your repairs are racking up. Some AC experts suggest using the “$5,000 rule” if you’re considering a new AC install. Simply multiply the age of your air conditioner by the costs you have been paying to repair your unit. If that amount is over $5,000, it may make more financial sense to install a new air conditioner rather than pay for expensive repairs throughout the year.

Higher Energy Bills

If you notice that your energy bill has significantly increased in price, it could be a sign that your HVAC unit is struggling to cool your home effectively. Try to be mindful of your air conditioner’s cooling cycles. If you notice frequent cycles, even in the summer, it could be the reason for your increased energy bill. In these cases, it’s best to have an expert test your system to see if a repair or replacement option is best for your family.

Age of Air Conditioning Unit

This sign is a no-brainer and one of the easiest ways to tell if you need to install a new AC system. On average, your HVAC unit will have a lifespan of 12 to 15 years. If your unit is more than ten years old and doesn’t have the “pizzaz” that it once had, it might be time to think about installing a new air conditioning unit.

R-22 Refrigerant

Old air conditioners usually require a type of refrigerant called R-22. This substance is very harmful to the environment and has been all but outlawed on newer HVAC systems. If your AC unit is old enough to require R-22, you should give serious thought to replacing your system with a newer, environmentally friendly solution.

Call Action Heating & Air Conditioning Today!

Over our 35+ year history, we have built our reputation on honesty, skilled workmanship, and reasonable pricing. If you are on the hunt for the highest quality air conditioning repair in Johns Island, SC, give our office a call today.

Call us at (843) 890-0532

Protecting Your Investment

Your air conditioning system works very hard every day, all year long to keep your home comfy and cool. Machines that work hard year-round are going to require maintenance and ongoing services to stay operational.

As a family-owned and operated HVAC company in Johns Island, SC, we know better than anyone how expensive it can be to maintain an AC unit. We know that money doesn’t grow on trees. We also understand that finding last-minute resources to fix an air conditioning system can be challenging. That is why we offer extended warranties for your new or existing AC equipment. With an extended warranty from Action Heating & Air Conditioning, you benefit from repairs, replacement, and additional services covered under warranty. That way, you can enjoy your HVAC products as long as possible.

If you’re having second thoughts about purchasing an extended warranty, consider these points:
  • Generally speaking, HVAC equipment lasts anywhere from 10 to 15 years. However, warranties provided by the factory will often expire before the service life of your cooling unit is over. With an extended warranty, your indoor comfort system is covered even if the factory warranty expires.
  • Having an extended warranty on your AC system gives you the chance to project and plan for any HVAC costs. This helps you balance your budget and anticipate expenses so you aren’t caught off guard. Having a warranty will also help protect your budget against increases in labor and parts costs due to inflation.
  • If you’re thinking of selling your home, having an extended warranty may help raise your home’s value. You may also be able to transfer your extended warranty to your new home if you choose to do so.

Latest News in Johns Island

Sapakoff: SC’s minority coach status minus Earl Grant, Tony Elliott

Boston College head basketball coach Earl Grant has known Virginia head football coach Tony Elliott since they were middle-school basketball opponents in Charleston – Grant representing North Charleston teams, Elliott from James Island.They got to know each other better when Grant was a Clemson assistant coach during Elliott’s long tenure on Dabo Swinney’s Clemson football staff. Grant talked about his friend’s jump to Virginia ahead of the Jan. 15 Boston College-Clemson basketball game“That’...

Boston College head basketball coach Earl Grant has known Virginia head football coach Tony Elliott since they were middle-school basketball opponents in Charleston – Grant representing North Charleston teams, Elliott from James Island.

They got to know each other better when Grant was a Clemson assistant coach during Elliott’s long tenure on Dabo Swinney’s Clemson football staff. Grant talked about his friend’s jump to Virginia ahead of the Jan. 15 Boston College-Clemson basketball game

“That’s a big deal,” Grant said. “He put in a lot of work in, a lot of years. I think he’s prepared for this opportunity to be a coach at that level.”

The ACC’s gain of two young Black head coaches with Lowcountry ties is South Carolina’s loss. Elliott and Grant leave the state with 11 minority head coaches or primary coordinators in football, men’s and women’s basketball and baseball among South Carolina’s NCAA Division I schools (not including Historically Black Colleges and Universities).

Relative comparisons are hard in an apples and peaches mix of states that differ in population and demographics, and between college and pro sports.

S.C. diversity hiring looks great right now compared to the NFL, which has eight job openings but just one Black head coach, Pittsburgh’s Mike Tomlin.

But Charleston Southern’s Autry Denson is S.C.’s first and only Black head football coach ever at the non-HBCU NCAA Division I level.

Elliott’s departure leaves South Carolina defensive coordinator Clayton White as the Palmetto State’s only primary football coordinator aside from S.C. State in Division I.

We can do better.

We won’t do better without tweaks at the top.

“The only thing I’ve ever said is that, at the end of the day, there’s not enough minority administrators,” said South Carolina head basketball coach Frank Martin, who is of Cuban descent. “We need more minority administrators. And anyone that acts differently is fooling themselves.”

Major conferences appear to be trying.

The SEC in July of 2021 launched a new hiring and development initiative “aimed at encouraging, facilitating and assisting member institutions in attracting and hiring individuals in historically underrepresented groups in the leadership of their athletics departments.”

The ACC adopted a CORE (Champions of Racial Equity) policy in July of 2020. Part of that is nudging the conference office and member athletic departments to “review staff composition and hiring practices to establish diverse search committees and diverse candidate pools to continue our commitment to diversity in hiring.”

Unlike the NFL’s Rooney Rule, the conferences are not threatening penalties if schools don’t follow through (not that such threats have greatly helped in the NFL).

Clemson promoted associate athletic director Graham Neff in December soon after athletic director Dan Radakovich left for the University of Miami. Upon the official announcement, Clemson President Jim Clements said Neff, “in every sense of the word, is a ‘five-star,’” referring to the term used to describe a blue-chip football recruit.

A Clemson spokesperson told The Post and Courier that three finalists interviewed for the athletic director job, “including one who identifies as a minority.”

As for other key athletic department positions around South Carolina, here are the minority head coaches and primary football coordinators in football, basketball and baseball at non-HBCU NCAA Division I schools in South Carolina (with some hiring to be done soon, particularly on football staffs):

Football

Autry Denson, Charleston Southern, head coach

Clayton White, South Carolina, defensive coordinator

Men’s basketball

Frank Martin, South Carolina

Quinton Ferrell, Presbyterian

Dave Dickerson, USC Upstate

Women’s basketball

Dawn Staley, South Carolina

Clarisse Garcia, Charleston Southern

Jackie Carson, Furman

Jada Williams, Coastal Carolina

Semeka Randall Lay, Winthrop

Baseball

Elton Pollock, Presbyterian

Why women’s basketball?

It’s no accident that women’s basketball is the leader here, for two disparate reasons:

• Women’s basketball, at the college and pro level, is just more sensible.

• Women’s basketball as a non-revenue sport within the college realm isn’t at all like football, in which the head coach is the lead salesperson of a fundraising campaign aimed at an older, predominantly white audience.

Which meshes with what Martin is saying about hiring habits.

“We end up trusting people that we’re around all the time,” he said. “And when you’re around a certain group of people, chances are you’re going to go in that direction. … That’s just facts of life. That’s reality.”

To help make a difference, Martin and former South Carolina head football coach Will Muschamp founded a McClendon Minority Initiative job at South Carolina in July of 2020. It is funding for a young minority employee in the athletic department.

Kentucky head basketball coach John Calipari came up with the idea. He named it after the late John McClendon, famed for many pioneer roles as a Black basketball coach, including becoming the first Black coach at a predominantly White university.

That was at Cleveland State in 1966.

More than a half-century later, Autry Denson and Clayton White are outliers in South Carolina and minority athletic directors are hard to find throughout American college sports.

Follow Gene Sapakoff on Twitter @sapakoff

Bluffton High hires new football coach from championship program in Georgia

Bluffton found its new football coach from a state championship program in the state of Georgia.Collins Hill assistant coach Hayden Gregory was introduced as the school’s new coach on Friday. Gregory replaces John Houpt, who stepped down in November.Gregory has spent the last five seasons as offensive line coach for his father Lenny Gregory at Collins Hill. The Eagles went 15-0 this year and won the Georgia Class 7A championship over Milton.“The success that we had at Collins Hill did not happen by accident,&...

Bluffton found its new football coach from a state championship program in the state of Georgia.

Collins Hill assistant coach Hayden Gregory was introduced as the school’s new coach on Friday. Gregory replaces John Houpt, who stepped down in November.

Gregory has spent the last five seasons as offensive line coach for his father Lenny Gregory at Collins Hill. The Eagles went 15-0 this year and won the Georgia Class 7A championship over Milton.

“The success that we had at Collins Hill did not happen by accident,” Gregory said.. “I believe I can take the same blueprint to build Bluffton to its highest possible potential.”

Collins Hill featured Travis Hunter, one of the top players in the country, who signed with Jackson State.

Hayden Gregory was a standout at Grayson High School and played college football at Mercer before joining his father’s staff at Collins Hill. At Grayson, he played for Mickey Conn, who built the program into a powerhouse before leaving for Clemson where he will be the team’s co-defensive coordinator this year.

Gregory said his experience working and playing for top programs will help with his first head coaching job.

“My experiences have given me invaluable lessons in how to run a successful program,” Gregory. “I look forward to taking Bluffton football to the next level.”

The Bobcats went 2-8 this season and lost in the first round of the Class 4A playoffs to North Augusta. The Bobcats had a good run under Ken Cribb from 2010-16 where they reaced the state championship game in 2011. The Bobcats have a strong group coming back with offenive players Jaylin Linder and Camauri Simmons and defensive standouts Jeremiah Curry and JaQuinn Williams.

“We searched for someone who cares about the well-being of student-athletes and will grow them in all facets, a high-energy individual that we felt would immediately gain player buy-in, has a proven record of success on and off the field, tremendous history of helping to get his players to the next level and an individual who understands the impact the team can have in the school and our community,” Bluffton athletic director Todd Stewart said. “We found our clear next head football coach in coach Gregory.”

School — Former Coach — New Coach

AC Flora — Dustin Curtis— TBA

Airport — Kirk Burnett — TBA

Batesburg-Leesville — Gary Adams — Gene Cathcart

Bluffton — John Houpt— Hayden Gregory

Boiling Springs — Rick Tate — Matt Reel

Dorman — Dave Guttshall — Dustin Curtis

Hilton Head Prep — Dave Adams — TBA

Lewisville — Will Mitchell — Leon Boulware

Newberry — Phil Strickland — TBA

North Augusta — Jim Bob Bryant — TBA

North Myrtle Beach — Matt Reel — TBA

Oceanside Collegiate — Joe Call — TBA

Stall — Joe Bessinger — TBA

Travelers Rest — Ray Gould — TBA

Commentary: Make I-526 from Johns to James island a buses-only highway

The S.C. Department of Transportation has released detailed information about the planned Interstate 526 extension, and everybody who wants to be in the discussion should first study it. When I learned that Johns Island is expected to triple its population between 2015 and 2050, my initially favorable view of this project changed.The highway extension by itself is only a partial solution. Once built, it would trigger the widening of roads all over the area. The monetary and environmental costs of those roads appear nowhere in the othe...

The S.C. Department of Transportation has released detailed information about the planned Interstate 526 extension, and everybody who wants to be in the discussion should first study it. When I learned that Johns Island is expected to triple its population between 2015 and 2050, my initially favorable view of this project changed.

The highway extension by itself is only a partial solution. Once built, it would trigger the widening of roads all over the area. The monetary and environmental costs of those roads appear nowhere in the otherwise diligent impact study. We have arrived at a waypoint where we must question uncontrolled growth based on car traffic and become serious about public transportation.

The region has made a promising start with the Lowcountry Rapid Transit project. However, the low densities on James and Johns islands call for a different concept: multiple lines of smaller buses branching out into these islands. But how can these buses get there without being stuck in car traffic? The I-526 extension presents a one-time chance to achieve this through these steps:

• Build the I-526 extension as proposed in Alternative G with four lanes between West Ashley and Johns Island. This section of the highway is badly needed to connect Johns Island with destinations north and would reduce congestion on Main Road and Maybank Highway on James Island.

• Continue the extension to James Island and S.C. 30 as a two-lane bus road, accompanied by a bike and pedestrian path. If this section is built for car traffic, it will have a disproportionate impact on neighborhoods and the James Island County Park while bringing ever more cars into the city where parking is already scarce. As a green corridor, serving electric buses and bikers, it would be quiet and improve access to the park.

• Make future development on the islands conditional on improving bus service. Establish small park-and-ride lots where the bus lines connect to developments. As bus traffic increases, reserve two lanes on I-526 and S.C. 30 for “green” traffic.

In its study for the I-526 extension, the Department of Transportation does not mention buses or public transportation. This is the mindset of the 1970s, when road planning destroyed the urban fabric of cities and made them dependent on individual car traffic.

Perpetuated today, it is an astonishing denial of the challenges that are posed by climate change. It also constitutes social injustice toward residents on the islands who cannot drive cars because of their age or lack of monetary means.

Electric cars will not reduce congestion. Autonomous cars will increase demand and make it much worse. Future development on the islands is acceptable only if a significant amount of commuting can be served by public transportation. The I-526 extension offers a unique chance to do so.

Reinhold Roedig of Wadmalaw Island is a retired city planner from Germany who specialized in urban renewal.

Commentary: How Oakville success helps preserve Johns Island’s rural heritage

Traveling along Maybank Highway on Johns Island may evoke the sense that rampant development has overrun this storied sea island. But a short detour along River Road or Bohicket Road gives a completely different impression. It quickly becomes obvious that Johns Island is still a place rich with culture and history — with rural communities, farms and forests, and oak-canopied byways all serving as powerful testament to the persistence of a unique people and a beautiful working landscape.In fact, about 80% of Johns Island is still...

Traveling along Maybank Highway on Johns Island may evoke the sense that rampant development has overrun this storied sea island. But a short detour along River Road or Bohicket Road gives a completely different impression. It quickly becomes obvious that Johns Island is still a place rich with culture and history — with rural communities, farms and forests, and oak-canopied byways all serving as powerful testament to the persistence of a unique people and a beautiful working landscape.

In fact, about 80% of Johns Island is still rural. It is this Johns Island that constitutes the vast majority of the island’s acreage, and that holds the promise of a rural heritage that will endure into the future.

There is a reason most of the island remains rural. In 2000, Charleston County enacted agricultural zoning on large farm and forest properties below Plow Ground Road and thus protected about half of the acreage from suburban development. This new zoning also stabilized the traditional African American settlement communities. Finally, in part due to funds made available by the Charleston County Greenbelt Program, 3,365 acres have been protected.

But this future is only partially secure. Zoning can be changed. Urban infrastructure driving suburban sprawl development can be extended. Despite more than two decades of hard work by the county, Johns Island landowners and the local community, the landscape could be lost in the blink of an eye. Now, however, thanks to an inspiring partnership between commerce, conservation, the city of Charleston, the S.C. Conservation Bank and Charleston County, the future of Johns Island looks increasingly bright.

To appreciate this latest conservation accomplishment-in-the-making, it is important to understand that the greatest risk to rural Johns Island is the conversion of land along the Urban Growth Boundary, adjacent to the Charleston Executive Airport. Here, a parcel called Oakville was marked for development.

Although this 95-acre property is on the “growth” side of the boundary, it is totally unsuited for development. Positioned at the mouth of Burden Creek, the entire parcel is only a few feet above sea level. Despite extensive discussion about the perils of developing flood-prone areas and vocal community opposition, outdated zoning laws allowed for the construction of 200 to 400 houses.

Additionally, the parcel’s location adjacent to the airport increased the risk of fatal plane accidents. Further, undoubtedly residents would be consistently disturbed by low-flying planes, creating an inevitable conflict between homeowners and the airport.

It was this concern that the conservation partners brought to the Charleston County Aviation Authority. The partners — including the Center for Heirs’ Property Preservation, the Coastal Conservation League, the Johns Island Task Force, the Lowcountry Land Trust and the Open Space Institute — found common interest with the Aviation Authority in protecting Oakville from development.

The Aviation Authority recognized the critical importance of ensuring safety for future airport activity, along with the additional resilience benefit — in keeping with the Dutch Dialogues recommendations — of avoiding development on low-lying land. Further, conserving the open space along the edge of the Urban Growth Boundary helps stabilize traditional rural communities by preventing suburban sprawl and the associated increase in taxes and service fees. This unique partnership culminated in the Aviation Authority purchasing Oakville in late July for $7.7 million.

With Oakville out of the developer’s hands, the last step in the process is ensuring the property’s permanent protection. To that end, the S.C. Conservation Bank recently voted to help fund the purchase of a conservation easement. And on Tuesday, Charleston City Council unanimously voted to support funding the project through the Charleston County Greenbelt Program in its upcoming cycle.

Once completed, Oakville will be a great achievement and the first step toward establishing a permanent greenbelt on Johns Island. It illustrates what can be done when a wide array of community members, organizations and public entities work together toward a common future. This is important because much land still remains to be preserved on Johns Island. It will take hard work over the coming years, but we should all take heart that we have the institutions, the financial resources and, most importantly, the people to rise to the challenge.

Michelle Sinkler is the special projects manager with the Open Space Institute. This column was submitted by the institute, the Center for Heirs’ Property Preservation, the Coastal Conservation League, the Johns Island Task Force and the Lowcountry Land Trust.

Get a weekly recap of South Carolina opinion and analysis from The Post and Courier in your inbox on Monday evenings.

Editorial: New tax promises improvements on Johns Island. Residents should call the shots.

It’s not going to solve all of Johns Island’s challenges, but the city of Charleston has a new tool to ensure new development pays more for needed infrastructure upgrades on the rapidly growing sea island. The money won’t start trickling in for a few years, but now is the time to begin considering how it could best be spent.Last month, City Council created a municipal improvement district for the city’s portion of the island; new development inside the district will pay a higher property tax rate for the next 3...

It’s not going to solve all of Johns Island’s challenges, but the city of Charleston has a new tool to ensure new development pays more for needed infrastructure upgrades on the rapidly growing sea island. The money won’t start trickling in for a few years, but now is the time to begin considering how it could best be spent.

Last month, City Council created a municipal improvement district for the city’s portion of the island; new development inside the district will pay a higher property tax rate for the next 30 years, with the revenue set aside for council to spend on island improvements.

This is a relatively new approach, particularly in the Lowcountry. A 1999 state law allowed the creation of municipal improvement districts, and only a few dozen have been created so far; most don’t provide all the funding for economic development and quality of life projects, but they pay a share.

Charleston’s municipal improvement district covers properties larger than 2 acres on Johns Island, and the additional tax would take effect only after they are developed with new homes or businesses. The additional charge on an average new home would be about $480; businesses would pay a similar rate based on their relative square footage. The district is expected to generate about $60 million over the next three decades, depending on the pace of new development, The Post and Courier’s Emma Whalen reports.

The Johns Island Task Force, a citizens group that has supported the new district, notes that the proceeds could be used for several different road and public transportation upgrades, new parks and improvements to existing parks, as well as drainage work in Barberry Woods and elsewhere. In short, the list of potential infrastructure upgrades is long and likely much more costly than what the new municipal improvement district can be expected to pay for all by itself.

The city ultimately may issue bonds backed by the district’s projected revenue, giving it the cash to make improvements sooner rather than later. But any such borrowing remains a few years away, and that’s good news in this sense: It gives the city ample time to analyze and prioritize how the money should be spent. It’s important the city doesn’t let this time go to waste, however. Its next step should be to create a Johns Island advisory committee to work with city staff on potential projects and priorities. The committee should include primarily city residents from a wide mix of Johns Island neighborhoods. While the panel also could include developers and real estate interests, they should constitute a distinct minority.

The city’s population on the island more than doubled in the past decade, from about 5,300 residents to almost 12,000, and the city’s portion of the island remains far from built out. These new residents create a demand for new roads, parks and improved public spaces that the new development can’t provide by itself.

So there’s an understandable sense that the island has some, perhaps even a lot, of catching up to do. “Improvements are coming, but I’m sure it’s not as fast as some people would like,” City Councilman Karl Brady Jr. told Ms. Whalen.

As the city contemplates how its new tool can help catch up on public infrastructure that growth demands, it must ensure that the process is done with broad public support.

It should help build not only new roads and parks but also greater trust among island residents — those with the most at stake. If done well, the district’s success will breed success, which ultimately will improve the island’s overall quality of life.

Get a weekly recap of South Carolina opinion and analysis from The Post and Courier in your inbox on Monday evenings.

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