FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Charleston, SC – Gov. Mark Sanford today released his fiscal year 2005-2006 executive budget proposal, which includes $2.4 million to help fund the Charleston Harbor Deepening & Widening Project.
Channel work on the deepening project was completed earlier this year, taking the inner harbor to -45 feet at mean low water and the entrance to -47 feet. Charleston now has 45 feet of water throughout the harbor to all major marine terminals.
The deepening work is cost shared by the U.S. and State governments, with South Carolina picking up 35% of project costs. The $2.4 million in recurring funds would go toward the remaining State share of $15.3 million. The Ports Authority, business and legislative leaders have suggested using recurring funds over the coming years to complete financing of the work.
State funding for the harbor deepening has been a legislative priority for business groups and the Charleston waterfront since it was authorized by the U.S. Congress in 1996. Actual channel work on the $148-million project began in 1999 and was completed in May 2004.
More information on the governor's spending plan can be found at http://www.scgovernor.com.