Council considers diverting money away from Maybank project for Folly Road

CHARLESTON,S.C. (WCIV) - Charleston County Council's finance committee met Monday eveningto talk about possibly diverting money from a proposed project on MaybankHighway to a project to alleviate problems at Camp and Folly roads.

Countyofficials are deciding if they should increase funding to fix the intersectionof Folly and Camp roads and reduce the amount to improve Maybank Highway.

Thecommittee says federal funding for Maybank Highway is stuck because of problemswith the project's design, so members are thinking about shrinking that projectand saving $15 million.

Then therewould be more money to improve the area around Folly and Camp roads.

Officialssaid even though funding may decrease for Maybank Highway, it would still getattention.

"Tonight,we're going to ask county council to revise the scope, to change it so that wecan move forward with the project in an expedited manner, which would be justfor the parallel pitchfork roads, a second inbound lane onto Johns Island, andimprovements with resurfacing from River Road to Main and Bohicket," saidcounty project manager Molli Lemin.

Countyleaders have said reallocating the money avoids losing the money completely.They argue that changing where the money goes will help taxpayers get more bangfor their buck.

The councilis also considering a request from the Charleston County Sheriff's Office. It'sseeking thousands of dollars in grant money.

The sheriff'soffice wants to council to approve its applying for a grant worth more than $30,000.Officials say the department needs to money to cut down on a 300-case backlog.

The fundswould cover an equipment upgrade they say would extract and analyze evidencefrom cellphones and tablets. They said the money would also pay for more than300 hours of employee overtime.

"If weget this additional machine we'll be able to run twice as many tests and cutdown on the backlog significantly, hopefully wipe it out all together," saidAssistant Sheriff Mitch Lucas. "We will probably be able to solve more caseswith this tech as the years go by."

Just likewith any technology, the new machines would have to be updated again in a fewyears.

Thecommittee should have decisions on the two measures sometime Monday night.