Shopping in Berkeley County could become more expensive. Berkeley County Supervisor Dan Davis pushed a one-cent sales tax for road work during a speech to more than 100 business and civic leaders earlier this week.

This would have an impact on most of Summerville as a lot of shopping is done in Berkeley County, particularly around Interstate-26's exit 199 interchange.

Davis' thoughts on the tax came during his hour-long presentation at the Berkeley County Chamber of Commerce's "Berkeley County 2008" breakfast.

Davis was the featured speaker at the event, held at the Redbank Club in Goose Creek.

Berkeley County is growing, Davis said. How that growth is handled will mean everything in the months and years ahead.

He outlined a sweeping vision that includes four major components: sustainable growth, responsible government, environmental stewardship and cultural opportunities.

"Sustainable growth" was listed first for a reason: There is a sense of worry throughout the county as a host of new residential developments become a reality.

Davis acknowledged the challenges of "over-development and unplanned growth," but added that Berkeley County "cannot stop or impede growth."

He called the county's recent economic development "outstanding," and described 2007 as a record year for investments.

Davis said he is encouraged by the outlook for future new jobs, including those created by expected new businesses in the Jedburg area.

The outlook for the county's infrastructure was less rosy.

"We are faced ... with a deteriorating road system within the county," said Davis, who added that the condition of roads are worsening as traffic congestion rises.

He called a one-cent sales tax, which Dorchester has already implemented for 22 road projects, the answer to finding money to address the county's needs. "There is no other means to get money ... for roads," he said.

Without additional revenue, the county "can't maintain what we've got and we certainly can't build any new roads."

Davis called for the creation of a capital improvement fund, and said that "good, sound financial planning," is essential for the county's success.

The supervisor said a new tree ordinance is needed in 2008, to stop developers from clear-cutting lots. "We need to be dealing with this," he said. "Clear-cutting trees for development is efficient ... but is not the best idea."

Berkeley and Dorchester have been been promised road money from the State Transportation Infrastructure Bank, but the bank is broke and has to be funded before money can be allocated.

Contact Frank Johnson at 572-0511 or fjohnson@goosecreekgazette.com.