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Mayor chooses Guard over private firm for river debris cleanup

  • Friday, November 1, 2013

  • Updated Saturday, November 2, 2013 9:37 pm

Despite pleas from Gov. Nikki Haley to use a private contractor to clean up the Sampit River from the recent Front Street fire, Mayor Jack Scoville says it is in the city's best interest to use the National Guard.
At a meeting Tuesday in Georgetown, Haley said “I caution you in bringing in government to do things because government has strings attached.”
She said “the cost of what it will take for the Guard to do the work is about the same as if you hired a private company.”
Scoville said that is not what the city discovered when it checked with the private firm R.L. Morrison - the same company that has been hired to repair the damage the Harborwalk sustained in the fire.
Scoville said R.L. Morrison quoted a price of $84,000 to do the work. He said because the job needs to be done quickly, there was no time to open the project for bids.
At Tuesday's meeting, even though she feels a private contractor would be best, Haley said she would support whichever decision the city made. Today she signed the paperwork ordering the Guard to Georgetown for the cleanup.
The order states the costs of the project will be paid by the city. Scoville said the city has a grant to cover the costs.
Scoville said the work is expected to begin early next week.

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