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Beaufort County voters on Tuesday approved the $25 million Rural and Critical Lands bond issuance but rejected a proposal to adopt a new form of county government.
With 75 of 84 precincts reporting, issuing bonds for the land-preservation program was ahead by a 62-38 percent margin.
The proposal to change from a council-administrator government to a council-manager system was losing by a 38-62 percent margin, according to preliminary results.
Tuesday's vote marks the third time in 12 years voters have approved bonds to buy and preserve important lands. However, the previous two measures -- $40 million in 2000 and $50 million 2006 -- were passed by nearly 3-1 margins.
The government referendum sought a change to a council-manager format, in which the treasurer and auditor are appointed by a county manager. The manager also would have assumed more power over those offices.
Assuming the results hold, voters' rejection of the council-manager form of government means the county auditor and county treasurer will remain elected positions.
Daufuskie Island voters who live outside of the Haig Point Club rejected a proposed special-purpose tax district that would have increased property taxes to fund ferry improvements. Preliminary results show the measure failed 60 votes to 41.