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Council again says no to 526



Charleston County Council voted along the same lines Tuesday, demanding that the state spend 526 extension money to instead improve existing roads or build nothing at all.

The council voted five to three for the resolution, even though the State Infrastructure Bank has promised to seek $11.6 million from the county for funds already spent.

Vice Chairman Elliott Summey again tried to convince the council to renegotiate a smaller project, but fellow council members rejected his proposal, still worried about what would come from the effort. "I'm not in favor of opening the door to an expressway," said Councilwoman Colleen Condon.

The council voted to oppose the state's plan for a $489 million parkway from Savannah Highway to the James Island Connector. The vote was 6-0, with Summey and Councilman Vic Rawl abstaining. The vote for limited improvements or not to build anything was 5-3. Chairman Teddie Pryor, Summey, and Rawl voted against the motion.

Summey was particularly frustrated with the vote. "This is crazy. This is reckless. This is appalling," he said. As the vote was held, he shook his head in disappointment. He later told the rest of the council that future road improvements will have to come from county taxpayers, not the state. "I hope I'm wrong, but I don't think we'll ever see another dime out of the state infrastructure bank," Summey said.

Condon was ever the optimist. "We've all agreed we want to do the projects people want," she said. "Lets take one more chance to see if the state will do the improvements that people want."

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