Flooding relief partially funded by Charleston school district taxes? Mayor asks board

Flooding in Church Creek neighborhood in West Ashley (File/WCIV)

On Monday afternoon, Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg asked the Charleston County School District to help pay for drainage in West Ashley’s Church Creek Basin.

Last month, the Charleston City Council approved a new tax increment financing (TIF) district to help pay for a specific area of severe flooding.

Now Mayor Tecklenburg is asking the school district and the county to buy into the plan.

The TIF district would specifically target growth in the Church Creek Basin.

West Ashley Mowler Court resident Mandie Millard says the water near her home got right up to the front door.

“I was heartbroken when my neighbors started coming around and they were like, 'your house had ankle deep water in it,'” Millard said. “The neighbors actually came to get me in their canoes so the dogs could go to the bathroom on their lawn so that was really sweet. You can’t ask for better neighbors honestly,” says Millard.

Leaving neighbors like that is not an option for Millard.

“It’s all about the water,” says Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg. “We are all in the same boat."

An option Mayor Tecklenburg floated to the district’s board of trustees was to help pay for drainage.

“You know, after four years of intense storms, we have projects that we have to put in place in order to manage water in our community, to find the money to address those challenges, we need everybody’s buy in, including the school district,” says Mayor Tecklenburg.

The Mayor wants an extra tax from new development to go toward a fund that would be exclusively used for drainage.

Millard says flooding relief could not come soon enough for her and her neighbors.

“It’s such an emotional roller coaster on top of like wanting to make sure you are OK and your animal are fine, but then to not know if you have a house to come back to it takes such an emotional toll,” says Millard.

Tecklenburg says the next step for this proposed TIF district is for a public hearing on November 27.

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