Charleston County must pay back $12 million or complete I-526

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Charleston County will have to pay back the $12 million that was supposed to go towards the completion of Interstate 526 or complete the project.

The money must be paid back to the State Infrastructure Bank, which sent a letter to the Charleston County Council Monday night warning them about repayment.

"The letter said they needed the $11.6 million dollars back immediately," says Council chairman Teddie Pryor.

Pryor said the county has two options when paying back the loan.  They can either raid the Roadwise fund which would hault all current road projects, or divert the $10 million dollars received from the state every year for the general fund. That would put Charleston county's finances in the red for the beginning of next year.

"We need to all take a breather and come up with a plane that's going to work and not cost people their jobs,"said Elliott Summey.

Charleston County Council will meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday after a "Roadwise Briefing" by the Transportation Sales Tax Staff.

In order for the county to not pay back the money, Charleston County would have to finish the Mark Clark Expressway from West Ashley to Johns and James Islands. The council voted not to finish the project last Thursday.

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