Author Topic: Why we cannot dredge the port?  (Read 780 times)

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Why we cannot dredge the port?
« on: January 28, 2020, 12:04:37 PM »
Maybe if the city would stop wasting money like they just did with the old Eagle Electric property we could get the port dredged?

Yes the city paid $1,800,000.00 for the old Eagle Electric site a few years ago.  Now in another good old boy deal they sold the property and the remaining buildings to Guerry Green for $280,000.00! So over a million dollars of tax money just was given away to good old boy Guerry Greene? This is insane. Where is the news coverage of this fraud?

Tom Rubillo

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Re: Why we cannot dredge the port?
« Reply #1 on: January 28, 2020, 01:12:50 PM »
The county was supposed to set aside $6 million dollars from the special purpose sales tax approved by local voters years ago to help pay this cost.  It collected vastly more than that over the years, using some of the tax funds to dredge the channel into Murrells Inlet.  Now the entrance to the Sampit River needs to  be dredged to (1) open the connection between the river and the Intracoastal waterway for barge traffic so the steel and paper mill can use it to ship out their products, (2) keep the river open for use by commercial fisherman and the fish houses, and (3) maintain access to Winyah Bay for recreational boaters.  The county should pay for that out of the money it collected and earmarked for dredging the port.

 As far as the purchase of the Eagle property is concern, the city did that during either Wilson's or Scoville's administration so the city could annex about 18 acres of land for "economic development."  As usual with these sorts of grand schemes, nothing happened.  As it turned out, there was an asbestos problem and part of the old building on the land had to be demolished.  That doesn't excuse the inaction, it simply points out that a proper environmental assessment of the premises had not be done before going ahead with the purchase. Put another way, no "due diligence" preceded the purchase.  Stupid.  Arrogant. Incompetent.  Business as usual in government.  Thereafter, although the remaining part of the old factory building was used for storage, the land sat idle for years.  A new water tower was built in a corner of the property a few years ago.  A new fire station followed.  What remained has been sold by the present administration so that a new factory, ultimately employing about 70 people, can be opened and with some spec buildings can be constructed to attract other new businesses. The result will be that tax revenues will be generated because the property will be privately owned rather than publicly owned and off of the tax rolls.  That's a step forward -- an improvement.  Not a perfect solution, but a lot better situation than what existed before.  It's "progress."  It may not be enough to suit everybody's tastes, but it is progress nonetheless.  Lord knows that progress is necessary.

To emphasize the importance of both of the preceding subjects -- dredging and economic development -- it is very sad to report that once against Georgetown has gotten a bum rap on Facebook.  It is listed in a conspicuous posting there as the most improverished city in South Carolina on a list of "poorest cities in the 50 states."  When I was at city hall in the early 1990's, Georgetown was recognized as one of the best 100 small towns in America by publishers and pollsters.  The decline that has followed is "history" -- is the legacy of mayors and administrations that followed.  Brendon Barber is trying to reverse all of that.  He's trying to reverse the downward spiral and bring new jobs to town.  That won't be easy, but at least he's trying.  Meanwhile, I suggest that folks put some pressure on the county council to cough of the city's fair share of that tax money so the entrance to the Sampit can be kept open for barge traffic (to help the steel mill and paper mill), (2) commercial fishermen and (3) recreational boaters.  That would be something positive that everyone could do.