Boosters slam feds’ decision to withhold money from Savannah project


Georgia’s public officials were caught off guard Thursday after the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the federal agency tasked with overseeing the project to deepen Savannah’s harbor, decided against giving the effort any extra money.

Boosters of the state’s top development project were counting on the federal agency to send tens of millions of additional dollars on the venture — beyond the $42.7 million specifically set aside for Savannah in the latest government spending bill — in order to keep construction work on schedule. They said they needed a total of roughly $100 million to do so.

So there was plenty of dismay to go around after the Corps announced that there would be no more money coming for the port this year.

While Georgia lawmakers on Wednesday cheered the Trump administration’s separate proposal to boost funding for the port next year by 17 percent to $50 million — a high-water mark from Washington — there’s now concern that it’ll actually be harder to keep the project on track because of stinginess from the corps this year.

“All I can think is that it must be some kind of mistake,” said U.S. Rep. Buddy Carter, R-Pooler.

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