SAVANNAH, Ga.: Joint Ga-SC port inches ahead, too slowly for some | State News | MyrtleBeachOnline.com

25
Jun

SAVANNAH, Ga.: Joint Ga-SC port inches ahead, too slowly for some | State News | MyrtleBeachOnline.com

SAVANNAH, Ga. — Plans by Georgia and South Carolina to build a shared terminal for cargo ships on the Savannah River inched forward Monday with an agreement to spend $748,000 on studies and consulting work in the next year. Local officials, hungry for the jobs a new port would bring, complained the states are dragging their feet.

“They’re stalling under whatever pretext they can,” said Tom Johnson, a councilman for Jasper County, S.C., where the proposed $3.3 billion port terminal would be built. “It’s the same thing they’ve been doing since 2007.”

The board of port executives from both states that oversees the Jasper County project approved its budget for the coming fiscal year after an economic study indicated the investment would pay off. Consultants concluded the new port could be finished by 2026, not long before its sister ports in Savannah and Charleston, S.C., start running out of capacity. By 2040, the consultants said, the terminal’s value would exceed costs by $1.2 billion.

The news sounded good enough to Jasper County officials that they couldn’t understand why the states didn’t budget money to start seeking construction permits in the coming year. Port officials say pursuing the necessary federal permits would cost about $2 million per year for a decade, with each state covering half the cost.

“They’ve got permit paralysis,” said Andrew Fulghum, county administrator for Jasper County. “Why not start the permitting process? It needs to become a real project.”

via SAVANNAH, Ga.: Joint Ga-SC port inches ahead, too slowly for some | State News | MyrtleBeachOnline.com.

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