Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed told coastal-area business leaders Thursday not to worry about the Savannah harbor deepening project. The $652 port expansion has languished because Congress and the White House haven't yet budgeted the bulk of the federal project's cost. Reed spoke at the Savannah Economic Development Authority's annual luncheon.
The massive lawsuit blocking Georgia's proposed deepening of Savannah's harbor will come to an end June 10th. Court documents filed today show a federal judge in South Carolina has scheduled that date for a settlement hearing in the case. Environmental groups and South Carolina agencies had sought to stop the deepening project over water quality concerns.
Three Georgia politicians have written to President Barack Obama urging him to include the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project authorization increase in his budget amendment to Congress. The president’s budget allocated just $1.28 million for the harbor expansion project — which is expected to cost $652 million.
US Congressman Jack Kingston says the state still would need an authorization from Congress if it decided to pay for more of harbor deepening on its own. Some lawmakers have suggested the state should stop waiting on Washington for a large chunk of funding for the Savannah project. Kingston says in that case Congress still would have to approve a higher budget for the deepening.
Georgia officials say they're taking a closer look at having state taxpayers pay a larger upfront share to begin deepening the waterway to the bustling Port of Savannah. The federal government's share of the $652 million project is proving tough to get.
Court-ordered mediation in a federal lawsuit challenging the $650 million deepening of the Savannah River shipping channel resumes this week. Attorneys for both sides meet behind closed doors in federal court in Charleston again Wednesday.
Port officials from Georgia and South Carolina have canceled their January meeting on the states' troubled plans to build a jointly owned port terminal on the Savannah River. They said an updated study on the economic viability of building the shipping terminal isn't ready.
Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed is hinting he has plans for a higher office. The mayor elected four years ago is seeking his second term in City Hall this year. But Morris News Service reports he said at a luncheon this week he also has "other plans" after finishing as mayor.
Governor Nathan Deal said Monday he will be proposing more state money to help pay for the deepening of the Savannah port. Deal told the Georgia Ports Authority he plans to include an additional $50 million in his budget proposal for the fiscal year that begins in July.