Morrison Drive land swap deal advancing
Charleston County Council endorsed a land deal Thursday in which it will swap a property and a building it owns on Morrison Drive for two other parcels at undisclosed locations.
But there were some who spoke out against the idea, saying the public wasn't given enough information about the swap and that the land wasn't put out for bid, giving an unidentified developer the upper hand.
Councilman Joe Qualey called the arrangement "a sole-source bid" that gives the public the impression something was "cooked-up" covering a part of the city where land values are on the rise. Joining in opposition were council members Herb Sass and Anna Johnson.
Supporters of the swap say its a bonus for the county, since in return county government is getting upgraded facilities and a new EMS station at no cost to taxpayers.
The developer wants the property at 995 Morrison Drive in Charleston. The building houses the county's disabilities board and storage facility, as well as the city of Charleston's small claims and magistrate courts.
In exchange, the developer wants to swap for properties on Upper King Street and Savannah Highway.
County officials have not identified the developer or disclosed the specific location of the King Street and Savannah Highway properties because they are part of confidential contract negotiations, officials said.
Councilman Teddie Pryor backed the idea, saying the swap did not violate county procurement rules and that the county is getting the additions without any risk involved.
The swap was expected to be better detailed in a contract to be presented at Tuesday's council meeting. Thursday's discussion came after a 90-minute executive session.
Also Thursday, Pryor and council member Elliott Summey were re-elected as council chairman and vice chairman.
Reach Schuyler Kropf at 937-5551