Georgia Supreme Court to hear arguments over Camden County Spaceport

County argues March special election invalid

The Georgia Supreme Court will hear arguments in the fight over plans for a Camden County Spaceport. This comes after voters blocked the county from buying land for the spaceport in a special election back in March.

WOODBINE, Ga – The Georgia Supreme Court will hear arguments Thursday in the fight over plans for a Camden County Spaceport.

Camden County commissioners are not giving up on their goal of seeing rockets launched from Southeast Georgia. They’re asking the Georgia Supreme Court to overturn the results of a March special election, where roughly 4,100 residents voted to halt the purchase of land to build the spaceport.

The county says the election results were not valid, since so few participated. By comparison, 9,000 of the county’s 34,000 registered voters cast ballots in the May Primary.

The county argues voters can only repeal certain types of ordinances, and therefore, doesn’t believe the outcome of the special election is valid. People who don’t want the spaceport argue the state constitution is on their side. Steve Weinkle has long opposed the project.

“Camden County wants to keep going,” Weinkle said. “For some reason, they think this Spaceport is so important.”

While Weinkle is not named as an appellee in the case, he believes the voters’ decision should stand.

“The county commission decided to fight that, they want to overturn the decision of the voters that took away their rights to purchase the property,” Weinkle said. “The spaceport plan has been in play from more than 10 years.”

The project’s supporters say it would boost the local economy, create more jobs, and bolster Camden County’s presence in the space and technology industry.

As this all transpires, the county is tied up in another ongoing lawsuit against Union Carbide, which owns the property the county wanted to buy. Union Carbide says it’s not interested in selling to the county and isn’t required to do so. Camden County disagrees. That separate lawsuit is pending in district court.

The Georgia Supreme Court will hear the spaceport case at 10 a.m. Thursday in Augusta.

About the Author:

Ashley Harding joined the Channel 4 news team in March 2013. She reports for and anchors The Morning Show.