CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – The completion of I-526 is often a hot topic.
Tuesday night at Charleston County Council, there was a discussion concerning where the money to cover the County’s obligation toward the project would come from.
It was the recommendation of the department head as well as the action requested by Council that the $3 million committed to the project by the County in this fiscal year would be taken from the transportation sales tax, in other words, the 2016 Half-cent Sales Tax.
The concern among some citizens is that the money would be taken away from other projects that are being funded through that sales tax, citing public meetings with county officials.
“That’s 2.1 billion dollars allocated for bus rapid transit and CARTA, the airport area road improvements, Dorchester Road widening, Highway 41 widening, Main 17 flyover, bike/ped infrastructure, Glenn Mcconnell widening, James Island intersection pedestrian improvements, Northside Drive realignment, Ashley Phosphate, rural road improvements, Savannah Highway improvements, Highway 78 improvements, Ashley River bridge improvements, Crosstown improvements, re-surfacing and of course greenbelts,” said Jason Crowley with the Coastal Conservation League.
County officials say that money is actually not allocated and therefore isn’t being taken from any project and that they never said how that money would be spent anyway.
“I’m very glad the newspaper has made the decision on exactly where we’re going to spend money and how much we’re going to spend. This council has never ever, ever voted on where we’re going to spend the money nor how much, nor was that on the referendum to the public. So I greatly appreciate you bringing matters to our attention written by the news and courier probably by the Coastal Conservation League for the news and courier,” said council member Vic Rawl.
Council voted to approve the allocation of funds for I-526 from the Half-cent Sales Tax.