Coalition asking Chas County Council to 'Fix Flooding First,' before roads

posted by Katie Fitzgerald, Assignment Editor - 

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) -

Eleven organizations are partnering together to ask Charleston County Council to make flooding issues a priority in the Lowcountry.

The group, who call themselves "Fix Flooding First," wants to find solutions with the half-cent sales tax that went into effect in May of 2017.

This sales tax program is planned to grow to two billion dollars over the next two decades. 

"Flooding is the number one issue facing our community and it's time to demand action," says Laura Cantral, executive director of the Coastal Conservation League. 

The coalition is unifying their voice and asking town and city municipalities to pass resolutions encouraging Charleston County Council to fund flooding solutions.

The half-cent tax program never specifically details water issues in either projects, regional or local.

"Flooding is not addressed in the half-cent sales tax," says Charleston County Councilman Rawl. "Major issues in the half-cent sales tax are roads and drainage. But I'm talking about ditches, drainage in the context of road structure."

According to the referendum, "the sales and use tax shall be expended for the costs of following projects...financing the costs of highways, roads, streets, bridges and...drainage facilities related thereunto." 

This fine print is how the grassroots program is looking to press forward and ask for money allocated to these specific issues. 

"Eighty-two people die every year due to flooding. That number should be enough to make our local officials to make a move," said John Wright, president of the African American Settlement Community Historic Commission. 

Currently there is a petition at FixFloodingFirst.org to join the coalition, they are looking for 1,000 signatures in 30 days to present to county council. 

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