CHARLESTON, SC—This afternoon, Horry County Council passed a resolution committing $23 million—more than half of the revenue from the County’s hospitality tax—for the next 20 years to funding Horry County’s portion of I-73. In response to the vote that commits $23 million annually to the unnecessary interstate, Coastal Conservation League Chief Conservation Officer Lisa Jones-Turansky issued the following statement:
This vote represents a myopic, short-sighted move by Horry County Council that, today, put politics before priorities—like public safety, water and sewer infrastructure, drainage projects, emergency services and disaster preparedness.
Like all of South Carolina, Horry County has other funding needs to repair roads and infrastructure, and provide public safety to residents and tourists alike. Taking away that money to build a new interstate is a disservice to its citizens.
Horry County also appears to be out of touch with its neighbors. Marlboro and Dillon counties, along I-73’s proposed path, have either adopted resolutions against the interstate, or spoken out against it. Their leaders recognize that the highway is massively expensive to taxpayers, will provide few of the promised benefits, and will divert money from critical road fixes in the state.
We hope that with new leadership in Horry County, council members will revisit this irresponsible decision immediately in January. We look forward to supporting leaders who have the best interests of the community and natural resources in mind.