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Work is being complete on the additional seating at Coastal Carolina University. The first home game is slated for 3 p.m. at Brooks Stadium with Eastern Michigan on Aug. 31. Photo by Janet Morgan/janet.morgan@myhorrynews.com

Horry County Council on Tuesday agreed to help fund a football bowl game at Coastal Carolina University's Brooks Stadium starting in 2020.

Using money from the accommodations tax fund, the council will give $40,000 toward the Myrtle Beach Bowl for the next six years.

The Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce is designated as the body that manages the state accommodations tax for the county. The chamber is required to restrict 5% of the funds for county-directed use approved by the county council.

The bowl money will come from that 5%, which, according to the council, stands at just over $82,000 and is expected to increase by $60,000 annually.

RIDE update

In other action, residents along Palmetto Pointe Boulevard soon will no longer have to worry about evacuations, floods or accidents keeping them from getting to or from their homes. For years, the thousands of residents in that growing neighborhood had only one way in and out of the community.

Now, as part of the RIDE III program, the boulevard will be extended all the way to S.C. 544. The extension will open in November and will intersect with S.C. 544 at Big Block Road. Councilman Cam Crawford said the extension will be a great relief for the community.

RIDE manager Jason Thompson gave the council an update on this and other projects from RIDE II and RIDE III Tuesday. Thompson said other RIDE III projects include the widening of Carolina Forest Boulevard, which is slated for completion in May of 2021.

After a number of delays, Thompson said the S.C. 31 extension is on schedule to open this fall.

A design team has been selected to perform the environmental impact study for the Southern Evacuation Lifeline or SELL. The SELL project has been discussed for a number of years as a needed evacuation route for residents and visitors in the southern part of Horry County. The RIDE III program includes $25 million for environmental studies and right-of-way acquisition for SELL. 

RIDE III also includes the paving of 12 dirt roads in the county. Thompson said six of these have already been completed.

Thompson said most of the RIDE II projects have been finished with the exceptions of International Drive and the Glenns Bay Road widening and intersection projects, which stand at 98% completion each. He added there is a surplus balance of just over $25 million for RIDE II and county council will decide later where that will be used.

Development’s zoning change given green light

By a 7-5 vote, the council agreed to zoning changes for a proposed development on Old Highway 90. G3 Engineering, on behalf of Bear Paw Associates, requested to change the 45-acre tract from commercial forest agriculture to multi-residential land.

The proposal is to build 69 single family units on 10,000-square-foot lots. The project was not approved by the county planning commission.

Opponents to the project told the council they feared the developer would build multi-residential units on smaller lots and add to the congestion of the area, which been plagued over the years by wildfires.

Area resident Finley MacIver said everyone remembers the fire that devastated the area in 2009. She said the property is located in “a box of matches.”

G3’s Felix Pitts said the developer has no intentions of building anything but the 69 homes on the larger 10,000-square-foot lots. He added that he wanted to assure everyone that no wetlands will be filled within the tract.

Following the vote of approval, MacIver said she was very disappointed.

“There’s not much you can do when the developer holds you hostage,” she said.

Contact Charles D. Perry at 843-488-7236

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