March 12—The battle for the future of Spaceport Camden may not be over.
The Georgia Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the results of Tuesday’s special election will prevent the Camden County Commission from reaching a real estate deal for a planned spaceport launch site, but that doesn’t mean the the county’s ability to sue a launch vendor is over.
Under the Federal Aviation Administration’s requirement to grant a launch site operator license, the county must do one of three things: own the 4,000-acre land owned by Union Carbide, negotiate a lease or have a site access agreement.
“It may not be over,” said Steve Weinkle, one of the people behind the petition that led to the referendum giving voters a choice to back the spaceport or block the commissioners. to spend more money.
So far, the county has spent more than $10.4 million. More than $4.1 million was paid to a consultant, $3.1 million for land, $1.1 million for lobbying, $850,000 for promotions, $711,000 for legal fees and $389,000 for other expenses.
In Tuesday’s special election, voters voted by a nearly three-to-one margin against the spaceport, making the county’s lawsuit to establish one that much more difficult.
Megan Desrosiers, president and chief executive of environmental group One Hundred Miles, said the move to stop the commissioners from closing the real estate deal “shows what successful advocacy is all about.”
“While Camden County has not given up yet, it is clear that whatever happens next, this has already been a monumental and groundbreaking effort: an effort by hundreds of volunteers who have filled thousands of envelopes, collected petition signatures, spoke at hearings, and educated their friends and neighbors and ultimately the thousands of Camdenians who showed up to vote,” he said. she stated.