State Supreme Court refuses to hear N. Charleston rail lawsuit

NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Good news for the City of North Charleston in its fight against the state's railroad plans. The state Supreme Court has refused to hear a lawsuit against the city by the state.

Mayor Keith Summey says he plans to continue to fight the state to keep rail lines out. Since Friday, North Charleston has filed two lawsuits. One in federal and one in state court to fend off any plans of rail yards on the old naval base.

Mayor Summey says a memorandum of understanding from 2002 that was signed between the State Ports Authority and the city protects the northern end of the naval base from rail lines.

He believes the memorandum is legally binding because it was mandated by state legislation which he says makes it a statewide agreement.

The state says their rail line plans would help spur economic development that would benefit the whole state. But Mayor Summey says it's not fair for North Charleston to have to sacrifice its improving quality of life.

"We are willing to continue to negotiate with the state of South Carolina," says Mayor Summey."But they're going to have to come with their 'A' game and be ready to take away as much detriment as we can to the citizens of North Charleston."

Mayor Summey says he was having talks with the state about negotiating, but since the state filed its lawsuit against the city back in June, the talks stopped.

The mayor says he hopes the state will start talking again since the state Supreme Court refused to hear their case.

The State Ports Authority is included in one of the lawsuits the city has filed against the state. But spokesman Byron Miller says the authority has nothing to do with rail yards coming to the naval base. He says the authority will defend itself in court.

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