A deal approved by state officials Monday gives Patriots Point until 2013 to figure out how to repay a $9.2 million loan spent on emergency repairs to one of the maritime museum's warships.
The deal with the state Budget and Control Board gives Patriots Point a two-year extension on the debt, which came due in December.
The Mount Pleasant tourist attraction has agreed to pay the state $500,000 of the principal now.
The loan extension gives the nine-member Patriots Development Authority time to find ways to repay the balance, said Ray Chandler, chairman.
Some of the potential options include: property leases and sale; the creation of new moneymaking programs; federal assistance; and private fundraising.
The Budget and Control Board unanimously approved the extension at a meeting Monday in Columbia.
The interest rate and the date of the first $500,000 payment will be set later by state Treasurer Curtis Loftis, said Butch Hills, Patriots Point spokesman.
Patriots Point borrowed the money from the state in 2009 to make emergency repairs to the destroyer Laffey, which was riddled with rusted holes. The museum never received the $20 million it was expecting in federal funding that was supposed to go to repay the debt.
Chandler, a Georgetown County attorney who was appointed to the authority this year by Gov. Nikki Haley, said the board is committed to repaying the loan "and putting Patriots Point in position to move forward with many exciting and profitable plans and activities."
"Our board is methodically moving through a list of issues and opportunities. This is one important item we can cross off our list," he said in a statement Monday.
Last week, the staff at Patriots Point was directed to prepare proposals on returning the Laffey to the museum. The World War II ship is moored at the Macalloy site, a private industrial property on Shipyard Creek at a cost of $11,250 a month.