Monday, January 17, 2011

RAIL

The former Secretary of Commerce Joe Taylor and South Carolina Public Railways have pushed through, behind closed doors, a plan to place a rail yard on the northern end of the former navy base. The property to be used for this yard was donated by the City of North Charleston to the Clemson University Restoration Institute to facilitate the creation of a renewable energy economy, including wind turbine research. Sixty of the Eighty acres have been condemned. The State, through South Carolina Public Railways, has exercised eminent domain to obtain the property. This rail yard would allow trains to enter and exit the north end of the former Navy Base and create a railroad roundabout of the Greater Park Circle community. Traffic congestion, road blockages, and train noise will drastically increase. Apart from increased heavy rail traffic, trucks carrying cargo containers from other port terminals (Columbus Street, Wando, North Charleston) would traverse city streets to access this rail yard.

This plan is in direct violation of the 2002 State Legislature mandated Memorandum of Understanding between the City of North Charleston and the State Ports Authority (an instrumentality of the State of South Carolina), in which it was agreed upon that the Port would utilize rail access exclusively from the south end of the base.  Relying upon this agreement, homeowners, businesses, industry, and the city have made significant investments to improve the Greater Park Circle community, the East Montague Business District, and the former Navy Base.

If you wish to express your opinion regarding the proposed rail yard on the north end of the former Navy Base, please call and/or email the legislators below.

Thank you for your help in fighting to preserve the quality of life of the residents of North Charleston.

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