COLUMBIA, S.C. – December 5, 2012 – The Budget and Control Board today voted to ratify an agreement passed Tuesday night at North Charleston City Council confirming a settlement among the South Carolina Department of Commerce, its Division of Public Railways and the City of North Charleston. Upon entry of a consent court order adopting the terms of this agreement, all pending litigation among the parties, as well as the State Ports Authority, will come to an end, creating a win-win for the state and the city.
Commerce Secretary Bobby Hitt and North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey negotiated a deal that enables South Carolina to offer equal dual rail access to the Port of Charleston through an intermodal rail yard that will be located strategically on the former Charleston Naval Base while protecting the neighboring communities.
“It’s a great day in South Carolina,” said South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley. “South Carolina and the City of North Charleston are moving forward in agreement, and everybody wins. South Carolina as a whole is now positioned to even further benefit from our world-class port and the expansion of the Panama Canal - and that means jobs, jobs, jobs.”
Senator Hugh Leatherman, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, said, “I will say it again, that by this agreement, the people of South Carolina and the residents of North Charleston are the winners! I commend the Budget and Control Board for its affirmative vote this morning, and acknowledge the leadership of Mayor Summey, Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt, Former Secretary of Commerce Joe Taylor and Councilman Ron Brinson, who worked so diligently to make this day a reality.”
With this agreement, South Carolina can build an intermodal container transfer facility that allows equal access to both Class I rail carriers. One intermodal train equals 280 trucks. An effectively-implemented dual access rail solution will keep those additional trucks off the roads and will minimize negative impacts to the environment and the region as a whole.
“I couldn’t be happier about the decisions of the Budget and Control Board and the City of North Charleston. This gives us the green light to get moving on solutions that will better prepare our state and the City of North Charleston for the opportunities coming our way,” said Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt.
Documents available at http://bit.ly/sc_nchs_press.