Charleston lawmakers are urging Gov. Henry McMaster to remove the chairman of the State Transportation Infrastructure Bank.
Chairman Vince Graham refused to call meetings of the bank’s board or canceled meetings to avoid moving forward Charleston projects, said Republicans Sen. Sandy Senn, and Reps. Lin Bennett and Peter McCoy, and Democrat Leon Stavrinakis.
The Bank Board has been trying to unwind a plan to spend $420 million in state money to extend Interstate 526. The board says Charleston failed to meet a deadline to come up with a plan to pay for its share of the project – up to $353 million.
Graham said Tuesday the Charleston lawmakers were being parochial.
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"All should be reminded that the agency's name is the S.C. Transportation Infrastructure Bank and not the Charleston Transportation Infrastructure Bank," Graham said, adding the proposed 526 extension would be the most expensive infrastructure project in state history and does not rank in Charleston's own Top-10 list of priorities.
In December, the board gave the county another extension to devise a plan to come up with the money.
Other areas of the state are eyeing the money originally promised for I-526, bitterly opposed by some in Charleston. Meanwhile, Charleston officials have floated the idea of spending the money on other county projects.