Posted January 29, 2019
GEORGETOWN, SC (WCSC) - Georgetown leaders announced Sunday that they are in the beginning stages of getting funding to have the Port of Georgetown dredged.
Leaders say they are forming a committee to have the port dredged, something Georgetown Mayor Brendon Barber says has not been done since 2006.
Barber believes their waters could bring significant economic growth if they could deepen the historic port right near the Liberty Steel Mill. He says currently it is nearly impossible for even recreational boats to pass through, much less a commercial boat.
“We just don’t have the depth, in some portions of our channel we only have two feet, so barges can’t come in,” Barber says.
The committee will include state leaders, local leaders and even community members that own businesses or have local influence.
“For every successful project you need a team, there’s no I in team,” Rohit Gulve, the Liberty Steel General Manager says.
Gulve says it is past time for a project like this because the mill is suffering from a lack of transportation means.
“All the steel mills here have three modes of transportation,” Gulve says. “Road, rail, and barge. Georgetown doesn’t have the third mode, but we will make it happen.”
Officials say that if the funds become available, results are expected sooner rather than later.
“A one cent sales tax is the local commitment, and we are looking at state and federal commitments,” Barber says.
Officials say that by Spring 2020 they expect the port to support barge use, and because of that they will have more jobs opening, saying that this project is only a good thing.
There is not yet a set cost for the Port of Georgetown dredging project, but officials say that the one cent sales tax is the one already in place, so they won’t be asking for an additional penny tax to support the funding.
Source: Live 5 WCSC