Erin Pate, Northern Coast Director of the SC Coastal Conservation League has offered to speak to Horry County community residents about the issues around funding I-73 in Horry County. The estimated $2.4 billion road has no Federal funding. Horry County Council did pass a resolution to put $23 million aside for 20 years to fund $460 million of the costs. Locking limited resources away for 20 years, however, won’t nearly fund the road, whose costs are sure to more than double in that 20 year period.
On July 24, Horry County Council put politics before priorities — like public safety, water and sewer infrastructure, drainage projects, emergency services and disaster preparedness – when they passed a resolution committing $23 million annually to fund Interstate 73. Bonded at just short of $300 million, this sum of money represents more than half of the revenue from the county’s hospitality tax for the next 20 years, and it’s still not enough to cover construction. (Projections show that 40 miles of the proposed interstate — from S.C. Highway 22 to I-95 — would cost more than $2 billion.)
Horry County Council voted against the best interests of residents, as well as their 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 will provide few of the promised benefits and will divert tax dollars from critical road fixes in the state.
All is not lost, though, because Horry County’s newly-elected leadership will take their seats in January, and we expect they will revisit this irresponsible decision. Until then, please let me know if you would like me to speak to your favorite community groups about this important topic. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org to request a presentation.
All area groups interested in learning more can contact Erin Page at the email just above.