June 24, 2014
Port Royal officials have cut almost all funding for the town's shrimp docks, but that doesn't mean the docks are closing.
"I'm going to keep on packing (shrimp) until they call me and tell me to leave," dock manager Joey Morris said.
Town manager Van Willis said the plan is to continue operating with Morris at the helm while the town seeks a private operator. He is finishing a request for proposals from companies interested in using the docks for wholesale and retail operations. Willis said he's aware of a couple of local companies and one from out of town that are interested.
The town leases the docks at the end of 11th Street from the S.C. State Ports Authority. An agreement with a private manager would be similar to a sublease and extend for several years, Willis said.
The retail shrimp market for by-the-pound customers, which did not open this year, will be part of the bargain, Willis said.
"They're going to have to have the market as well," he said. "That is something that will be important to us."