Each time I see an article about some new problem with jobs at the steel mill, I am amazed at the blindness to opportunity exhibited by the leaders of Georgetown County. At every turn they are overwhelmingly concerned about saving less than 300 jobs.
Does no one ever look at Google Earth and see the potential of Winyah Bay? If one would simply take the total running feet of the shoreline and divide by 150-200 feet; then multiply that by the approximate lot cost as well as some number above $500,000 for a building, they would find a financial impact of over $10 billion. This does not even take into consideration the positive impact of turning the mill site into a major East Coast shipping terminal.
The development of the resort portion would create thousands of good paying, clean breathing journeymen jobs. The development of the harbor would create thousands of industrial and transportation jobs. A link to I-26or I-73 would “open” the community to the whole country.
Given a new “Let our children breathe clean air” approach I believe that the paper mill would immediately jump to the front of the “good citizen” line and install whatever controls necessary to keep Georgetown from being a dirty word downwind, as it presently is.
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What about cleanup? I’m no expert, but there are many examples of public projects where all contaminants did not have to be removed. In some cases, the whole area can be capped. This eliminates the migration problem and contains problem contaminants. A harbor terminal site is a classic example of this. Acres and acres of buildings and parking and storage. All blocking water migration through the site. The rest is controlled flushing and pumping wells for elimination and monitoring.
I would encourage the people of Georgetown County to think progressive. Tell your leaders that you want a future where every white painted thing in the county doesn’t turn rust colored, a county where your children can breathe and look forward to healthy, good paying jobs.
The writer lives in Myrtle Beach.