Deal to feds: Go pound sand, we’ll go it alone on Savannah project

ATLANTA — Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal said he is prepared for the state to move forward with deepening of the Savannah Harbor after the Obama Administration declined to include funding for the project in its 2015 budget.

Deal said Georgia would use the money it’s put aside over a number of years to begin work so that the project doesn’t fall further behind schedule.

“Vice President Biden promised in the past year that we’d get this project done come ‘hell or high water,’ but it’s more accurate to say the administration is going to put us through the former to get to the latter,” Deal said in a statement. “Earlier this year, President Obama signed into law — a law this budget recommendation ignores — a provision that allows Georgia to use the $266 million it has set aside to get the work started.

“That’s exactly what I intend to do. The state of Georgia and its congressional delegation have worked diligently and patiently to see this project through to fruition. We’ve dotted every ‘I’ and crossed every ‘T,’ we’ve received every federal permit required and we’ve already waited too long,” Deal added. “Under the federal law recently passed, we will begin dredging using state funds until the federal government lives up to its obligations in this partnership. The Obama administration has noted repeatedly the importance of projects such as this for economic development and job creation, and the state of Georgia, as always, stands ready to do its part.”

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