JASPER CO., SC (WTOC) - Jasper County leaders say they want the next South Carolina governor to show their support for the Jasper Ocean Terminal.
The mayors of Bluffton and Hardeeville, along with other elected county leaders and GOP candidate for governor, Catherine Templeton, joined together to say they won't stand for pushing off the major project anymore.
This call to action comes out a time when state leadership representing the region is currently pushing to get the Jasper Ocean Terminal Project back on track.
A week ago, Senator Tom Davis, representing the 46th District, gave a fiery speech on the Senate floor in Columbia addressing his frustrations with the lack of progress on the Jasper Ocean Terminal, $5 million he says was plucked from the JOT permitting process and redirected to the Port of Charleston.
"We've got land down there in Jasper County like the surface of the moon that we could build on, and we're ignoring that, and it's for greed," Sen. Davis said.
Jasper County Councilman, Marty Sauls, was also at Tuesday's news conference and had this to say afterward.
"We're looking to see what avenues the Jasper County Council and our region can take to make this a quicker reality than what's been proposed, and we'll see what the new governor, once that election is decided, how they will react to making this a reality for us."
"The need, because this all takes time, it takes years to study, to get the infrastructure in place, we cannot skip a beat if we're going to be prepared to meet the challenges in the future," said Hardeeville Mayor, Harry Williams. "This is not just about Jasper County. This is about the State of South Carolina, and about the region which includes Georgia."
The estimated completion date for the Jasper Ocean Terminal was recently pushed back to 2035 by the South Carolina Ports Authority.
"We just keep getting told its delayed and delayed and delayed, and they're gonna run against a big group which stands behind me which represent thousands of more people that are not going to stand still this time. We need this port before 2035," said Bluffton Mayor, Lisa Sulka.