Governors appoint joint Jasper port task force

The governors of South Carolina and Georgia today named the people they hope will fill in the details of their broad agreement to build a proposed bi-state port on the Savannah River in Jasper County.

Mark Sanford and Sonny Perdue of Georgia each named three members to a task force that will develop the joint proposal for a port that would be owned, developed and operated by the two states.

Perdue also announced that the Georgia Department of Transportation has asked the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to release or modify the easements on the Jasper County property — which the Georgia DOT owns — and begin the process of finding alternate sites to dispose of spoils from the Savannah River.

Sanford named to the task force:

  • Tom Davis, his chief of staff
  • Bill Stern, the S.C. State Ports Authority chairman
  • Bill Bethea, a former chairman of the S.C. Ports Authority
  • Sanford also named three advisory task force members:

  • Gayle Averyt of Columbia, former chairman of Colonial Life Insurance
  • Jim Micali of Greenville, chairman and president of Michelin North America
  • David Maybank III of Charleston, president of Maybank Properties
  • Perdue named to the task force:

  • Jim Lientz, his chief operating officer
  • Jack Hill, chairman of the Georgia Senate’s powerful Appropriations Committee
  • Jim Balloun, a former CEO of Acuity Brands
  • Perdue said he will turn to Georgia business, financial and port leaders for further advice “as the need arises.”

    The two governor’s came to agreement on developing a joint proposal last month.

    The S.C. State Ports Authority and Jasper County have been fighting in court over developing a port on the 1,800-acre site, owned by Georgia.

    The governors’ proposal is an effort to avoid a protracted legal battle over developing the needed port.