To the editor,

The allocation of $23 million annually for the next 20 years from Horry County hospitality tax revenues is a very risky proposition.

It is risky because, even though permits exist for this project, the road will end at the border of Horry County unless federal funding is provided to develop the highway through Dillon

and other poor counties. Even councilman Bill Howard with whom I spoke, cannot guarantee that such a scenario will not occur. We would have a highway to nowhere.

Every Horry County councilman, as well as Congressman Tom Rice, backs with project and this money from county coffers.

Why is the funding for this project not put on a public referendum, with all the details?

It is my belief that Myrtle Beach, its mayor and council, the Economic Development Corp. and Horry County Council are the major backers of this project, without adequate input from those who reside here.

Horry County infrastructure, going back to the days when Tom Rice was Horry County Councilman, has been seriously neglected.

Lack of planning and vision allowed roads such as Carolina Forest Boulevard to become death traps. Just recently, July 3, a young lady was killed on this road.

Horry Council has allowed builders to build huge developments without even requiring important access and exit lanes.

Council should have made stronger efforts to get state legislature to pass impact fees on builders. 

Horry County voters voted for Ride I, Ride II, and Ride III taxes, and these taxes, if I understand correctly, are totally unrelated to the hospitality tax.

Even so, the widening of Carolina Forest Boulevard has not yet begun, and will take perhaps five year to build. It will be a nightmare.

in the meantime, D.R. Horton is building 1,000 homes across from The Farm. I assume construction will begin soon. A new proposal to build 1,500 homes and the juncture of International Drive and Route 90 is on the table.

No way should this development be approved. International Drive connection to S.C. 90 should be dedicated entirely to land preservation and scenic beauty. 

Sadly, greed reigns supreme.

Builders, council members, Congressional representatives and businesses too often care more their pocket books than for the citizens. Corruption permeates our local, county, state and federal government.

Politicians love to take our money and user it for their own self aggrandizement. $24 million a year for 10 years is almost a half billion dollars.

While there may be some restrictions on how hospitality tax money is spent, wherever possible it should be used strictly for local needs in Horry County, such as public safety law enforcement, storm drainage, recreational areas, and local roads, not some federal highway to Michigan to bring in more tourists.

If Mark Lazarus wants to use Horry hospitality tax revenue for a federal highway, put this proposal on a public referendum.

It is my understanding that this project’s funding is not a done deal. We have new Horry County chairman, Johnny Gardner, taking office soon. Between now and January, pressure should be made by citizens to halt this project.

I hear nothing from Horry County Council or Congressman Rice about storm surge and inevitable flooding that Horry County will experience during the next major tropical storm of hurricane.

We saw the impact ofd the flooding in 2016. Since that time hundreds of homes and buildings have been constructed and parking lots paved. All this construction is on top of former wetlands and even military firing ranges.

When a hurricane bringing 15 or more inches hits at high tide, this area is going to experience unbelievable flooding, even on the west side of Intracoastal Waterway. Retention ponds are not deep enough and continually fill with sediment, as do ditches. Event his past year, the retention ponds in The Farm were at the top of their banks. Water cannot exit into the ocean at high tide. 

I can almost guarantee that homes will be flooded, with major devastation, but Congressman Rice, Horry Council, and Myrtle Beach just want a new interstate highway. I am not saying that such a highway would not be useful, but I believe priorities are sorely mismanaged and misguided. 

Sincerely,

David R. (Randy) Bryan 

Myrtle Beach

P.S. I have posted numerous times on Congressman Rice’s web page regarding my concerns about I-73, but never have received a response. 

I did talk to councilman Bill Howard on the phone, and was pleased to hear about the way in which wetlands mitigation credits were purchased so as to keep International Drive completely free from development of any kind, with the ability to use these credits to compensate for other areas where roads through wetlands would be needed.

Being kind of cynical of politicians’ motives, I wonder if any of Horry County Council members own property along the proposed I-73 corridor. I am well aware that every Myrtle Beach City Council member lives in Myrtle Beach and voted, well over a year in advance, to extend for 10 years the TDF penny sales tax.

This tax pays for 82 percent of each Myrtle bEach single family homeowner’s Myrtle Beach property tax. At the passing of this resolution, Mayor Bethune would not even allow opponents to have a voice. This kind of stuff reeks. And I fear that the I-73 project is also contaminated by self interests.

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