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Monday, June 25, 2012 - 1:00am

Beaufort Looks To Savannah Projects

Updated: 2 years ago.
The Hilton Head Island lighthouse is one tourist attraction on the South Carolina island. Tourism is a shared economic driver both in Savannah and on Hilton Head Island. (photo Gobucks2)

A new study says, South Carolina's Beaufort and Jasper Counties can capitalize on economic growth potential by improving its infrastructure.

The analysis reinforces ties between Savannah and the Palmetto State.

Beaufort County, South Carolina is part of the Savannah Metro area and is included in economic figures here.

The study gives a detailed look at the business climate just over the bridge from Savannah.

The Beaufort-based Lowcountry Economic Alliance paid for the study.

Its director Kim Statler says the Port of Savannah is one example of how the neighboring economies depend on each other.

"We saw a lot of connectivity between the employment workforce that came from South Carolina to work every day at the port of Savannah," Statler says. "Somewhere near 40% of the labor pool comes from South Carolina that works at the port."

She supports Georgia efforts to improve both the Port of Savannah and the highways along Georgia's coast.

Statler says, her group supports the half-billion-dollar proposed Savannah harbor deepening.

The half-billion-dollar Savannah harbor deepening has divided some officials in Georgia and South Carolina.

"So we look at Beaufort County and we look at Jasper County and we look at the ability for our counties to serve a market that has anchors basically in Savannah and Charleston, " Statler says. "So, what we want to make sure is that the infrastructure that provides that connectivity is the best it can be."

She's also watching a July referendum on a proposed sales tax for transportation improvements in Georgia's 13 county coastal region.

For more information you can go this website.

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