At long last, Gov. Nikki Haley says Commerce Secretary Bobby Hitt sat down with North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey last week to begin working out an agreement on railroad plans in the Navy Yard. She says the first discussions went well.
"Everything I've heard is that they're positive and they're strong," Haley said today. When asked what time frame she had in mind for reaching an agreement, she said, "I told Bobby Hitt I wanted it done yesterday."
Mayor Summey has been trying to get Haley and Hitt's attention for a few months now in regards to a planned expansion of railroad traffic in the Navy Yard. Current plans from the public railways department would have more trains than ever crossing through the northern end of the old military complex, creating traffic headaches around the Park Circle neighborhood and violating a memorandum of understanding signed in 2002.
When the City of North Charleston sued the state last month, Summey said he hoped it would grab Haley and Hitt's attention, but he said he had had little luck so far.
"The governor seems to continually indicate that she is working on this thing, but I have never spoken with her about this," Summey said then.
Summey was not immediately available for comment on Friday. Gov. Haley was in Charleston paying a visit to the Kangaroo Express gas station on East Bay Street to talk about Kangaroo's Salute Our Troops fundraising program.