It probably doesn’t mean much in the grand scheme of things, but the South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) is needlessly blowing money on a physical office to promote its $1.1 billion Interstate 526 boondoggle.
The office – which is located in North Charleston, S.C. – will allow SCDOT to “be more intentional about our outreach” related to the project, according to an interview one of its employees gave The Charleston (S.C.) Regional Business Journal (CRBJ).
Which is pure bureaucratic bull if you ask us …
SCDOT has a sprawling media office that is more than capable of handling community inquiries regarding this project. The agency also has thousands of followers on social media, where it routinely promotes community meetings regarding its projects.
In other words, there is absolutely no need for this expense.
Nonetheless, SCDOT will staff this office – located in the Gas Lite Square shopping center – five days a week (and two Saturdays each month).
“Community members will be able to drop in to learn more about the project and get answers to their questions,” CRBJ reporter Patrick Hoff noted.
Really? Answers to their questions? Last time we checked, SCDOT is hosting a half-dozen community meetings related to this project over the next few weeks – including a massive gathering at the Charleston Area Convention Center scheduled for November 21.
(Click to view)
Not surprisingly, Hoff did not bother to inquire as to how much this “project office” will cost taxpayers … or who got the lease contract. God forbid he interrupt his paper’s SCDOT infomercial, right?
(SCDOT did not immediately respond to our request for a price tag on the office lease, incidentally).
But the bottom line is simple: This is money that is not going to core infrastructure needs.
This news outlet has consistently argued that the costly Interstate 526 expansion should take a backseat to more pressing infrastructure concerns – but state leaders continue to demonstrate a galling lack of prioritization when it comes to critical highway projects.
Again, the price of this office space is barely a molecule of a drop in the multi-billion dollar budget SCDOT receives each year from Palmetto State taxpayers, but it is definitional frivolity.
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