Lowcountry lawmakers are anxiously watching a line item on the $6.3 billion spending bill state lawmakers sent to Gov. Nikki Haley.
Reps. Peter McCoy (D-Charleston) and Leon Stavrinakis (R-Charleston) are concerned Haley will veto the million dollars in the new budget set aside to renourish Folly Beach, a popular beach just miles away from downtown Charleston.
McCoy said they put the money in the budget because the popular beach is “a huge economic engine, not only for my district but for all of South Carolina.”
Echoing McCoy’s comments, Stavrinakis calls Folly Beach “a driver of tax revenues.”
In his argument for funding, McCoy said engineers who designed the jetties more than a century ago realized only Folly Beach would suffer erosion from their construction, said McCoy.
Erosion has especially affected areas like the Folly Beach County Park. Visitors have not been able to swim there for nearly two years since Hurricane Irene caused significant damage in August 2011.
A heavy renourishment process at the park’s beach has included around-the-clock pumping of sand in from Folly River, as well as building a terminal groin to help capture sand.
Under normal conditions, the park serves more than 100,ooo visitors a year.
Sheree Bernardi and Paul Critzman III contributed to this report.