CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster announced his 2019-2020 fiscal year budget vetoes on Wednesday morning which included $2.7 million which would have gone toward sinking the USS Clamagore off the coast of South Carolina.
The idea was to sink the aging submarine in order to turn it into a reef.
“I wish it were in great shape and we didn’t have to do that,” McMaster said. “It’s a great attraction, but I don’t think its the proper use of people’s money.”
USA TODAY recently reported that it would take $8 million to repair the corroding submarine.
“Creating artificial reefs off South Carolina’s coast as a deterrent to storm surge, and to alleviate the threat of coastal flooding is a meritorious idea,” McMaster wrote in his letter to the South Carolina General Assembly. “However, the sinking of the USS Clamagore does not serve this purpose. Rather, it is a well-intentioned proposal that creates a taxpayer funded limited public access destination for off-shore sport fishing and under water diving excursions. South Carolina taxpayer dollars should be directed toward a more cost-efficient means of disposing of the USS Clamagore.”
The Patriots Point Development Authority is also facing a lawsuit from a preservation group fighting to keep the submarine floating.
McMaster vetoed 28 total items totaling $40.7 million. Among his budget “wins" McMaster highlighted a college tuition freeze. The legislature could overturn the vetoes, but it remains unseen if lawmakers will return this year.