North Charleston City Council, public to meet on commercial rail

Staff Reports
Charleston Regional Business Journal

North Charleston City Council will meet Thursday to discuss the ongoing commercial rail situation and vote on agreement that could move a controversial plan forward.

The meeting is set for 5:30 p.m. in council chambers at city hall.

The City Council will also accept public comment on an ordinance that would authorize Mayor Keith Summey to green light a memorandum of understanding linking the city, CSX Transportation, and developer Shipyard Creek Associates.

Under the plan, an intermodal rail yard would be built on land owned by Shipyard Creek and served by CSX rail lines. The facility would provide near-dock rail access to the new S.C. Ports Authority terminal under construction at the former Navy Base.

The agreement is also in line with a 2002 memorandum of understanding between the city and the SPA that calls for the maritime agency to utilize rail access running out of the south end of the property.

Opponents, notably the S.C. Department of Commerce, its for-profit arm S.C. Public Railways and CSX rival Norfolk Southern, say the plan would decrease competition and hurt the port. Those three also support a plan for an intermodal facility at a site on the Navy base currently deeded to a Clemson University research program.

For those unable to attend, meeting will also be streamed live online .

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