Charleston County Council to decide on I-526 referendum

The James Island Connector now ends at Folly Road on James Island.

Charleston County Council tonight will decide whether it will ask voters in the November election if they support the controversial completion of Interstate 526 across Johns and James islands.

The groupís Finance Committee will vote on the proposal first, said council Chairman Teddie Pryor, who supports finishing the Mark Clark Expressway.

If the matter gets a majority of votes from the nine council members, the group will then hold a special full County Council meeting to officially approve the measure.

There is no public comment session at committee meetings, Pryor said. And public comment sessions at specially called council meeting are left to the discretion of the chairman.

Pryor said that if the matter moves to a full council meeting, he is inclined to allow public comments after the vote.

Councilman Vic Rawl had requested that the proposal be put on councilís agenda.

The proposal council will consider bringing to voters rules out the state Department of Transportationís preferred alternative for the road, the parkway-style Alternative G. But it does not specify whether the road would be a more traditional, high-speed interstate highway, or take some other form. It also includes a provision to rule out the need for consent from the cities and towns through which the road would pass. State law requires consent from municipalities.

County Council originally had scheduled committee meetings Thursday but moved them to today specifically to deal with the referendum question.

Council has only until Wednesday to file something with the State Election Commission for the Nov. 6 ballot.

Reach Diane Knich at 937-5491 or on Twitter @dianeknich.

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