SUMMERVILLE -- A new Dorchester County detention center remains the county's top building priority, despite an $18 million cost that will require a tax increase and use nearly all the remaining bond money the county can borrow without a referendum.

County Council will weigh options like a property tax increase that, as a rough estimate, could add $8 to the tax on a $100,000 home, according to County Auditor James Messervy. Until bond and other details are worked out, Messervy said, it is too soon to say what the actual tax would be.

Council also might look at asking the public to approve a penny sales tax to help offset property taxes.

Council also is looking at restructuring a commitment to Trident Technical College to help pay for a new nursing school. The original commitment means the county would pay $3.7 million in the next two years. Council members want to extend that over 10 years, to free up more money.

The detention center was made a top priority last year. Council members re-affirmed support after a capital improvement project workshop today.

Read more in tomorrow's editions The Post and Courier.