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Governors propose port agreement
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Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue and South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford joined together recently to announce a recently completed bi-state agreement whereby the two states would cooperatively develop a new port on the Savannah River in Jasper County.
Under the proposed agreement, the Georgia DOT would sell the port site to the states’ ports authorities as equal co-tenants, and those ports authorities would jointly form and fund a Joint Project Office to determine the feasibility and best location for the terminal, take the necessary steps to have the existing spoil easement held by the Corps of Engineers released, file for a development permit and develop a business plan.
At the same time the Joint Project Office takes steps to build the terminal, the agreement provides for the Joint Project Office to work with the legislatures in the two states toward adopting an interstate compact agreement to form the new entity that will ultimately own the terminal and decide how it is operated.  As called for by Govs. Sanford and Perdue last March, the Joint Project Office will concentrate on ways to use private capital in the construction of the Jasper County terminal to a greater extent than such has been used by the two states’ ports authorities in the past.
“Gov. Sanford and I are committed to working together because this port will mean economic growth and activity that will benefit both of our states and the entire southeastern United States for generations to come,” Perdue said. “This port will generate quality, high paying jobs for families in Georgia and South Carolina, as well as allowing the capacity for both of our states to continue growing as more and more companies want to trade goods with Georgia and South Carolina businesses.”
“I want to thank members of both states’ task force members for their hard work on this agreement over the past few months,” Sanford said. “Governor Perdue and I both believe that continuing down this path represents both states’ best chance for increasing our port capacity to the level needed to compete in an increasingly globalized economy. Working together between the two governors’ offices, the two ports authorities and the two legislatures to continue this process will ultimately lead to a great benefit for both the region and our two states as a whole.”
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