Correction: an earlier version of this story misstated the percentage of road fee money distributed to the municipalities where it was collected.
Horry County is withholding road maintenance fee money from the town of Atlantic Beach until its officials can verify how they spent more than $6,000 in road fee money during the last fiscal year.
The county levees a $50 road maintenance fee on all vehicles registered in Horry County for the specific purpose of maintenance and improvement to the county’s road system, and distributes 85 percent of that money to the municipalities where it was collected.
Atlantic Beach received $6,144 last year, but despite two requests from the county in August and September, the town hasn’t told county officials how it was spending the money, according to county documents.
In a letter to Atlantic Beach Mayor Jake Evans dated September 9th, Horry County Administrator Steve Gosnell said the county would withhold the town’s first-quarter road fee money until the town sent the county an outline of town projects funded by the road maintenance fee.
As of Tuesday, Horry County Treasurer Angie Jones said the town had not provided the county with a list of projects, and that she would be withholding Atlantic Beach’s first-quarter road fee payment of $1,442 for fiscal year 2019-20 until the town can provide such a list.
"They’ve got to send in their plan,” Jones said. “Once they do that and satisfy council, then they’ll let me know they can release the funds.”
Evans said he had “no idea” about the county withholding road fee money.
“You would have to get in touch with the town manager, Ben Quattlebaum,” Evans said. “That hasn’t been reported to us.”
Quattlebaum said on Wednesday the town was working on the report, and planned to get it to the county by next week.
“We’re putting the report together as we speak and we’ll be submitting the report for the expenditures very shortly,” Quattlebaum said. “I hope to get it to them no later than Monday.”