Next month, the city of North Charleston is expected to file a federal lawsuit against the state for its rail line plans into the Port of Charleston. After a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the two parties in 2002, North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey says the state is now backing out of its word by placing rail on the northern end when the agreement called for rail at the southern end. Summey says he has redeveloped the northern end, and he’s not giving in to the state’s new plan. The city sent a letter of intent to sue, but it requires a 60-day waiting period before it actually files.
Governor Nikki Haley has remained fairly quiet on the issue– at least from a media standpoint– but she says there’s been a lot going on behind the scenes.
Because you’re not hearing anything doesn’t mean we’re not doing anything. We had, my Commerce director met with the mayor last week again. He’s meeting with the mayor again this week, we’ll see him on Friday. There’s a good communication going on and at the end of the day we’re trying to find a dual rail system that works. They met with both of the players of the rail and they continue to talk.
When Haley was asked if she supports the Memorandum of Understanding, her answer was–
What I’ve done is I’ve put all this in the hands of my commerce director who’s doing a great job. Bobby Hitt’s been totally on this. He’s briefed me as this is going through. What I’ve told him is I want a resolution and I want it fast and I don’t want this dragging out. And, he said, ‘We won’t, we are continuing having good talks. It is productive, we are making progress and we are going to keep moving forward. And I’ve told him that can’t is not an option and let’s get it done. So, I have full faith he is going to do that. I have full faith from the mayor that we are going to get cooperation on that side.
Haley has placed full confidence in Commerce Director Bobby Hitt, so much so, she says she hasn’t been involved one-on-one.
I have not been in conversations with either one of those guys and before I state anything I want to talk to the mayor and the commerce director when they both come together and talk to me. That’s the next step is that they are both going to talk, they are both going to come to me, give me what they’ve got and then we are going to make a response and we are going to make a solution on this.
Haley says her job is to make sure she let’s Hitt do his job, then she steps in.
The governor says her administration will work with the city of North Charleston to find a resolution on dual rail into North Charleston.