A strange political phenomenon quietly emerged from South Carolina last week: consensus among the federal legislative delegation — eight Republicans and one Democratic congressman — on a $12 billion spending package to improve water-related infrastructure.
The Water Resources Reform and Development Act provides funding and guidelines for everything from drinking water systems to ports and canals — and will smooth the way for projects like the multimillion-dollar deepening of the Port of Charleston and dredging of the Georgetown port.
Sure, the Republican-controlled House and the Democratic-controlled Senate had spent six months hammering out a compromise, with Republicans trying to figure out how to fund projects back home without violating their own earmarks ban.
But even a call to “vote no” from the Heritage Foundation — Jim DeMint’s influential, right-wing think tank — wasn’t enough to sway its ideological kin on the South Carolina delegation, as they linked arms in support of the Port of Charleston.
Aversion to big-government spending be damned, they essentially said, in recognizing how crucial the port is to the state economy. The spending package also enjoyed the support of the S.C. Chamber of Commerce, which tends to welcome government spending on infrastructure.
The South Carolina Ports Authority, needless to say, is pleased.
“This bill includes language that addresses our priorities, specifically, a seamless transition into construction for the Charleston Harbor deepening project and the possibility to secure channel maintenance funding for the Port of Georgetown,” says Jim Newsome, its president and CEO.
Charleston’s deepening project is slated to begin in late 2015, pending approval by the Army Corps of Engineers. The State Ports Authority intends to deepen the Charleston Harbor to somewhere between 50 and 52 feet.
The bill also provides a path for non-federal entities to qualify for federal reimbursement on project costs if Congress fails to pass a water bill during a congressional term.
Additionally, the bill includes funds for smaller ports that the State Ports Authority is eyeing, with the expansion of the Port of Georgetown in mind.
The Other Place at Trustus Theatre
Juliana Smithton is a successful neurologist whose life seems to be coming unhinged. A mystery unfolds as fact blurs with fiction, past collides with present and the elusive truth of Juliana’s mental health boils to the surface in The Other Place, running at Trustus Theatre October 17th through November 1st. There will be a talk-back following the matinee on October 19th. Tickets can be purchased here or by calling the box office at 803-254-9732.
3LAU on Sunday, October 26th and the Unofficial Skrillex Mothership Tour After-Party on the 27th. More information and tickets for both can be found here. VIP tables available.
Four Miles, Twelve Doughnuts
Winston’s Wish aims to increase knowledge and understanding of children with autism, and you can help by participating in the 4.donut Race on October 25th. Start at Edventure Children’s Museum, run 2 miles to Krispy Kreme, eat 12 doughnuts, and run back! Registration is required and can be done here before October 23rd at 5 p.m.
King Lear in Finlay Park
October 16th-18th and 22nd-25th, the South Carolina Shakespeare Company presents William Shakespeare’s King Lear. All performances held at the Finlay Park Ampitheatre at 7:30 PM. For tickets and more information, click here or call 803-665-2000.
Bluegrass, Bidding, and BBQ
Join The Palladium Society Thursday, October 23rd from 7-10 p.m. for its 11th annual silent auction, featuring music by The Mustache Brothers and catering by Bourbon and The Oak Table. Tickets are $30 at the door and include admission, drinks, and food. Get yours online now!
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