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MEMORIALIZING THE UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION AND ITS COMPONENT FEDERAL HIGHWAY ADMINISTRATION TO TAKE A LEADING ROLE IN ORGANIZING AND PROVIDING REGULAR PUBLIC FERRY SERVICE TO SANDY ISLAND IN GEORGETOWN COUNTY.
Whereas, the members of the General Assembly note that Sandy Island in Georgetown County, a twelve thousand acre tract separated from the mainland by the Waccamaw River has no bridge or regular, reliable, and safe public ferry service for its residents, requiring residents, numbering among them many elderly and infirm, to arrange their own transportation to the mainland for work, medical needs, shopping, and other basic needs, all made vastly complicated by the lack of public ferry service; and
Whereas, numerous efforts to get a public ferry service up and running have been pursued, involving local residents, Georgetown County officials, the Federal Highway Administration, the South Carolina Department of Transportation, and the County Regional Transportation Authority, but as yet have not been able to resolve all of the problems arising in establishing and operating a public ferry service; and
Whereas, as time passes, the residents of Sandy Island continue to be left to their own devices for transportation; and
Whereas, the resulting lack of action is not only an inconvenience to islanders, but it also presents increased danger of accidents and loss of life, as most recently exemplified by an accident in February, 2009, when a fifteen foot boat capsized resulting in three deaths and injury to an infant; and
Whereas, it is necessary that the United States Department of Transportation and its component, the Federal Highway Administration, previously active in attempting to get this absolutely necessary and lifesaving public ferry service established, to take a leading role to get all those involved to agree on the way forward for obtaining this long sought and absolutely necessary service for the residents of Sandy Island and for visitors to the island. Now, therefore,
Be it resolved by the House of Representatives, the Senate concurring:
That the members of the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina memorialize the United States Department of Transportation and its component Federal Highway Administration to take a leading role in providing regular public ferry service for the residents of and visitors to Sandy Island in Georgetown County.
Be it further resolved that a copy of this resolution be forwarded to the Honorable Ray LaHood, Secretary of Transportation or his successor and to the Honorable Victor Mendez, Federal Highway Administrator.
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