Posted: Monday, June 17th 2013 at 1:31pm
Savannah won't share cruise ship study with public
By The Associated Press
SAVANNAH - A consultant's report on three potential sites for a cruise ship terminal along the Savannah River has been given to city officials in Savannah, but they aren't sharing it with residents.
The city is refusing to make the taxpayer-funded analysis public, The Savannah Morning News reported.
City officials say a provision in the Georgia's open records law allows them to keep the report secret for now. The exemption pertains to potential land acquisitions.
A Savannah City Council workshop has been scheduled for June 25, and the study will be made public at that time, city spokesman Bret Bell.
The city council awarded Miami-based BEA Architects a contract to perform the study in September. It's being divided into two phases, and the portion of the study recently given to city officials cost $197,500 to evaluate the sites.
The findings are necessary to obtain U.S. Army Corps of Engineers approval and permits for construction. Results may eliminate certain sites or verify that all three sites, which have not been made public, could be used, the Savannah newspaper reported.
Savannah City Councilman Tom Bordeaux had cast the only vote against the study.
Bordeaux said he didn't think spending millions of dollars on the terminal would be a good investment for the city, considering the amount of time cruise passengers would spend in the city.
Bordeaux said he also worried that the terminal would be abandoned if the industry experienced tough financial times, especially since Charleston, S.C., and Jacksonville, Fla., already have cruise docks.
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