South Carolina may soon close its sole remaining port outside the Charleston region, although any plan is in the early stages at this point.
The Charleston Post and Courier reports the State Ports Authority has agreed to close the small breakbulk port if doing so would help the city of Georgetown’s future redevelopment plans. However, an authority spokesman said there is no timeline to close the port for now.
Georgetown’s city council approved a joint agreement last week to spur redevelopment along the city’s aging industrial waterfront, which includes the now-shuttered ArcelorMittal steel mill. The plan would create special tax districts and eventually annex the port site. Georgetown County Council is also discussing the plan.
ArcelorMittal was also the port’s largest customer. Since its closure in August 2015, Georgetown has seen its cargo tonnage drop into the hundreds each month, far below the Ports Authority’s expected 10,000 tons per month.
However, Georgetown Mayor Jack Scoville said ArcelorMittal is not working with Georgetown on the plan. Scoville told the paper that the Luxembourg-based corporation has not responded to the city since June. The Post & Courier was also unable to reach the company.