Plans for Port of Port Royal still remain despite failed first r - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Plans for Port of Port Royal still remain despite failed first reading

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The Port of Royal won't be getting any help from Beaufort County. The county council rejected the capital sales tax referendum, which included the port on its list of projects.

Still, that doesn't mean all hope is lost for selling the 52 acres of land.

Town leaders won't go into detail about who is interested in buying the port of Port Royal or where negotiations stand. But they said there are still a lot of discussions happening with developers.  

After three failed attempts, many in the town of Port Royal are anxious to see something happen. 

"We might have a…a project going forward in the next few months, I mean that'd be a great thing," Port Royal Councilman Joe Lee said.

The clock is ticking for the State Ports Authority after Governor Nikki Haley signed legislation that forces it to sell the Port of Port Royal by June 2015.

The legislation also states it can be sold at 80 percent of the appraised value.

"And that has just started, a private citizen came forward and paid for an appraisal," Lee said. 

Although town leaders weren't too happy that the capital sales tax referendum died in the first reading, others believe it wasn't the best route. 

Judy Alling is part of the grassroots campaign, "SIN" which stands for "Sell It Now."

"I think the best thing would be for the port to sell either as a complete parcel or as it can now be sold as three separate parcels," Alling said. 

Alling was one of six who helped lead a tour of the port a few weeks ago. She said she's been in touch with an out-of-town broker who is interested in  the site.

"This is tax revenue that we are overlooking, this is beautiful land that could bring money to the state, to the county, to the town and it's foolish to let it sit there," she said. 

There are also plans to bring the Spanish Moss Trial into the port property. Lee said they will be removing the rails any day now which will help move things along.

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