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.
Accepting Applications for Shakespeare’s Kidz!
Students ages 10-16 are invited to join South Carolina Shakespeare’s new youth company, with classes running September 20th-December 11th followed by a final performance. Contact Katie Mixon with questions about scholarships and applications: PKatieMixon@gmail.com.
Make Your Own Beer and Wine!
Come get started on your “liquid hobby” and help us celebrate our 46th year in the Columbia area. Bet Mar Liquid Hobby Shop: 736 St. Andrews Road.
Brew Pub Site Available
3520 Augusta Road, West Columbia. Click for more information.
Happy Hour and Sushi Specials All Week
Red Bowl in Lexington now has great early bird and late night sushi specials 7 days a week, as well as 99-cent kids meals on Saturdays! Click here for special information and hours.
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U.S. Security Associates
Now hiring immediately for armed and unarmed security officers. WE TRAIN YOU! Columbia & surrounding areas. ussecurityassociates.com
Wing Zone is now hiring for experienced delivery drivers, cooks & cashiers. Apply in person @ 132 Assembly St. or call 803-933-9464.
Real Estate Spotlight
Mungo Homes. Celebrating 60 years of our family building for your family. mungo.com