JAMESTOWN -- Imagine living in a town so small your dream is just to attract a Dollar General.

That's how it is for many in Jamestown, where the only game in town is the Kangaroo convenience store at the main intersection.

Of course, it's unlikely any store is going to invest in a town of 72 residents, the latest census count.

But imagine if the town's population suddenly swelled to close to 500. That might get some attention.

That's Mayor Roy Pipkin's hope, anyway. He's pushing an annexation plan that would add about 400 people to the town limits.

He tried a similar move three years ago, brought it to election, and lost by three votes.

Now he's trying for an even bigger annexation plan. He needs about 100 signatures (25 percent of those affected) to hold an election. He got 32 signatures when he introduced the idea at a community meeting last week.

Pipkin says he will get enough signatures by the end of the month for an election this summer. He's predicting a victory this time.

"There was a lot of misinformation last time," he said. "People know a lot more about it this time."

Brenda Gailey is on board. She lives outside town limits down S.C. Highway 41 toward Mount Pleasant.

"I don't see anything but good coming from it," she said. "The police protection is one of the main things."

She expects to pay about $5 more a year if she's annexed but says it would be worth it.

On the other side of town, Kay Lambert had a different reaction. She lives outside the area to be annexed but owns several tracts on Millwood Loop.

Lambert is afraid that if the town annexes her properties, the county will rezone them from agricultural to residential, which would significantly raise her property taxes.

"I really don't understand how (annexing people) is going to bring more business to town," she said. "I wouldn't be in favor of it, because I don't want my property taxes to go up."

Pipkin said he doesn't see why the county would rezone a property just because it became part of the town.

Another property owner, who declined to give his name, said he wouldn't sign the annexation petition because he doesn't want to see any more speed limit signs near his house. The speed limit is 40 mph in the town limits, and officers keep busy writing tickets.

The mayor said the town has no intention of changing speed limits.

"The highway department controls the speed limit signs," Pipkin said. "They do their studies on the road and they determine what the speed limit is. The only thing we do is enforce what they give us."

Reach Dave Munday at 937-5553.