Bill the Blog
Business Driving Advocacy
Last night, three Charleston County Council committees – public safety, planning/public works, and finance – met at the county’s Lonnie Hamilton, III Public Services Building. All councilmembers were in attendance. Both the public safety and planning/public works committee meetings completed quickly without any controversy.
There were several important items on the Finance Committee meeting agenda, however. Among them was funding for the expansion of Trident Technical College’s Aeronautical Training Program. The $75 million expansion includes the development of a new aeronautical training campus. Councilmember Dickie Schweers was the lone councilmember in opposition. Schweers claimed that, “Boeing has been expensive for the taxpayers.” He expressed concern that the other counties should chip in for the facility.
All other councilmembers supported the project. Councilwoman Johnson claimed that, “This is a great opportunity to improve the lives of our citizens.” In the end, council approved their share of the funding - $18.75 million. It will be up to the state to provide the remaining dollars.
Prior to the vote, Charleston County Economic Development Director Steve Dykes informed council that the aeronautical industry will have a regional economic impact exceeding several billion dollars over the next few decades.
In addition, council approved $200,000 in funding for a proposed Patriots Point Vietnam War Museum with an 8-1 vote. Councilmember Colleen Condon was the lone vote in opposition.
Both of these items will go before council in their regular full council meeting this Tuesday night. Stay tuned to Bill the Blog for more.
Charleston, SC - Yesterday, South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) Commissioners voted unanimously to approve the amended intergovernmental agreement between Charleston County and the state to complete the Mark Clark Expressway. The Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce congratulates all SCDOT Commissioners for taking the first step towards achieving long-term infrastructure solutions.
The Chamber has been a long-standing supporter of completing I-526. The project will positively impact economic development and job growth and will improve the quality of life for both employers and residents throughout our community.
In December, 2012, Charleston County Council voted to move forward towards completing I-526. Throughout the last year, county staff has been working with SCDOT to amend the contract.
Stuart Whiteside, the chairman of the Chamber's Board of Directors and former co-chair of the Chamber's Infrastructure Visioning Task Force says the Chamber will continue to work with state and local officials to ensure that this integral project comes to fruition.
"While the completion of I-526 is not a silver bullet that will cure all traffic and transportation woes that exist in our community, it is a great first step towards enhancing regional mobility, quality of life and safety on our roadways," Whiteside said.
According to Bryan Derreberry, President and CEO of the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce, the commissioners deserve credit for doing the right thing for the state and region.
"Today's vote was a key step towards completing this critical infrastructure project. Completing I-526 will be a huge win for the business community and Charleston region as a whole," Derreberry said.
Derreberry also thanked several other leaders in our region for their work ensuring the completion of the Mark Clark Expressway.
"Today's vote by the SCDOT Commissioners was critical, but we also must recognize the support from regional leaders such as Speaker of the House Bobby Harrell, Charleston County Council Chairman Teddie Pryor and Vice-Chairman Elliott Summey, and Charleston Mayor Joe Riley."
Congratulations to SCDOT Commissioners Jim Rozier, Chad Ingram, R. Eddie Adams, W.B. Cook, Harrison Rearden, Mike Wooten, Clifton Parker, Craig Forrest, and Chairman John P. Edwards for displaying leadership by unanimously voting to move forward towards achieving long-term infrastructure solutions in our region.
There have been several articles recently in local publications with varying degrees of misinformation about the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). Over the last couple of weeks we’ve come across a great video explaining Common Core, as well as an article from the South Carolina School Board Association that really debunks many of the arguments against CCSS. To read the article click here. We will continue to post more information about Common Core as we find it.
Today, the SCDOT Commissioners unanimously approved the intergovernmental agreement between Charleston County and the state of South Carolina. The approval today will allow the project to proceed with completion expected between 2018 - 2020. Read more in The Post and Courier here.
Last night, more than 160 business leaders paid tribute to Mayor Swails for all that he did to advance the Town of Mount Pleasant and the region over the last four years. Swails was honored with a unique award (pictured below). He thanked the Chamber and business community for the support and complimented recently elected Mayor Page, calling her a perfect fit for the job. Page was in attendance, along with councilmembers Elton Carrier, Paul Gawrych, Chis Nickels, Chris O'Neal, Gary Santos, Mark Smith, and Thomasena Stokes-Marshall. Mount Pleasant Waterworks commissioners John Burn and Rick Crosby were also in attendance.
We thank Mayor Swails for the last four years, and we look forward to working with Mount Pleasant's new mayor and councilmembers as we strive to drive growth and define tomorrow.