SC House sets aside $ 23 million to buy waterfront land | South Carolina News
CHARLESTON, SC (AP) – South Carolina’s House budget committee sets aside $ 23 million in state spending plan to purchase a convent that includes waterfront land on the harbor of Charleston.
The House Ways and Means Committee approved the allocation of the money to the spending plan by sending the $ 10.7 billion budget to the House for debate starting Tuesday.
The 23 acres (9.3 hectares) belong to the Sisters of Charity of Our Lady of Mercy. It includes 750 feet (229 meters) of land on Charleston Harbor.
Senator Chip Campsen, who alerted lawmakers that the land, which includes a chapel and dormitories, was on the market, said Campsen said the state needs to act quickly because there is a lot of competition from the private buyers.
“If we don’t acquire it, it will end up being developed quite intensively. And God doesn’t create coastal real estate anymore, “Campsen, a Republican from the Isle of Palms, told The Post and Courier of Charleston.
According to the house plan, the Department of Natural Resources would buy the land and lease the buildings. The agency already owns ownership of the adjacent research site where pre-revolutionary Fort Johnson once stood.
The site could be used for weddings, field trips, conferences, and for walking and biking the trails, lawmakers said.
The nuns of the Sisters of Charity of Our Lady of Mercy, founded in the 1820s, are getting older and have decided it is time to sell, said House Ways and Means president Murrell Smith.
“I think it is very important that we preserve the land so that the average South Carolinian can benefit from these resources,” said Republican Sumter. “Unfortunately, now that beach properties and rental properties are on the rise, it is difficult for people to go on a beach vacation like we once did.”
The nuns moved into the property after World War II, and Smith said lawmakers had been told they would rather preserve the land than see it develop.
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