JASPER COUNTY, Sc. (WTOC) - State officials in South Carolina say they have secured $8 million for the future Jasper Ocean Terminal in the budget bill that was passed last month.
Officials say up to $5 million will be used by the South Carolina Ports Authority to purchase the property next to I-95 in Jasper County.
“The $8 million goes in a couple of different ways. First of all, it’s to be used by a tract of land in Jasper County called the Sherwood Tract. $5 million of it is used for that purchase so it can be developed into a commercial establishment that would rely upon the Jasper Terminal for import/export needs,” Senator Tom Davis, R, SC.
Davis says it’s important to get some commercial industry on the ground in Jasper County to show the need for the Jasper Port.
Although $5 million will go towards land for the port, the remaining $3 million will go towards studies such as analysis of the area, site studies, and other factors that play a role in moving the project forward.
“The $8 million appropriation by the General Assembly further demonstrates a very strong commitment to having an ocean terminal in Jasper County. If it remains on course, we will get it funded again next year.”
The project will also bring an economic boost to rural areas like Jasper County and the surrounding counties, which will ultimately improve the quality of life in those areas.
“If you want to attack healthcare, if you want to attack education, quality of life new high paying jobs is what the port will bring."
“It’s so important to the state because Hardeeville has the available land in close proximity; the closest available land in South Carolina to both ports, so it has a tremendous impact for the state of SC - for Jasper County and for the City of Hardeeville," said Hardeeville Mayor, Harry Williams.
Davis says one of the advantages of this port would be it being an alternative to the Savannah and Charleston ports when they reach their capacity.
For more information on the proposed Jasper County Ocean Terminal Project, click here.