North Charleston files appeal against state backed rail plan

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) - The city of North Charleston strikes back against a state sponsored rail plan.

Last week the city filed an appeal to block the commerce department's rail project through the north part of town.

North Charleston says the state is playing games and not living up to its side of the bargain. The appeal is to reverse the state's condemnation of several properties at the navy yard.

North Charleston mayor Keith Summey says the state is going against an agreement that's nearly ten years-old.

"It's one of those things that you begin to lose trust and faith," Summey says.

The city has hired four lawyers to begin an appeal process, to stop a state backed rail plan that would run through the north part of North Charleston.

"Now all of a sudden they're wanting to take the land we gave Clemson, for a rail yard, and that was definitely not the intent we donated the property for," says Summey.

According to Summey, the state commerce department wants to condemn nearly 70 acres of the Clemson University facility. Summey says the area could lose out on future jobs.

"When we look at economic development the rail yards will add no new employees, they'll be transferred from other rail yards within the area," Summey says.

The mayor favors a CSX rail line designed to navigate around the south end of the naval base. Summey tells us he's not against the state, or Norfolk Southern. And he's not against the port, which hasn't endorsed either rail plan.

"I'm sure they want equal access and equal cost for rail," he says. "That can be done without going through the north."

Summey says he wants to protect the city he's spent 16 years building up.

The new rail line will support the future port terminal in North Charleston.

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