Friday, July 15, 2005

Jasper County files final arguments in suit over $450 million terminal

According to the Beaufort Gazette:

Jasper County on Thursday filed its final argument against the S.C. State Ports Authority in the pending state Supreme Court lawsuit over who can build a $450 million cargo-container terminal on the South Carolina side of the Savannah River.

For more than a decade, Jasper officials have worked toward bringing a port to their county, and when the county struck a development deal with a private port builder, the State Ports Authority responded with a lawsuit in the high court.

. . .

The State Ports Authority controls the fourth-largest cargo container system in the country through ports in Charleston, Georgetown and Port Royal.

The agency's enabling legislation, penned in 1932, empowers the agency "to promote, develop, construct, equip, maintain and operate a harbor or harbors within this state on the Savannah River."

Jasper's attorneys contended that nothing in the legislation makes those powers exclusive -- and under home rule, a state law designed to move local government issues out of Columbia, the county has the right to build.

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