Council cannot change the projects or the order, members can only pass or deny RIDE III in its entirety. (Source: WMBF News)

Council cannot change the projects or the order, members can only pass or deny RIDE III in its entirety. (Source: WMBF News)

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – The Horry County Council will meet Tuesday night to discuss many new ordinances up for first readings, including the RIDE III sales tax and project list.

It’s taken two years of planning to get to this point, but this is the last step before citizens can vote on that penny sales tax to support fixing roads throughout the county. It must pass three readings before it will officially go on the referendum ballot in November. Council cannot change the projects or the order, members can only pass or deny RIDE III in its entirety. So a lot of research, planning, and feedback has gone into this final rundown.

On the agenda, you can see the project priority list:

  • U.S. Hwy. 501 Corridor improvements – SC Hwy. 31 to WC 544 ($50,000,000)
  • Pave 25 miles County dirty roads ($15,000,000)
  • Carolina Forest Boulevard Widening ($54,700,000)
  • Palmetto Pointe Blvd. Ext. to WC Hwy. 544 ($7,500,000)
  • SC Hwy. 9 East Widening, Loris ($21,700,000)
  • Resurface 33.13 miles of City roads ($5,000,000)
  • US Hwy. 701 N Widening, North Conway ($65,100,000)
  • Fred Nash Blvd. connection to Harrelson Blvd., Myrtle Beach ($19,300,000)
  • US Hwy. 17 Business Intersection Improvements, Garden City ($19,800,000)
  • Forestbrook Road Widening ($89,100,000)
  • Pave 25 miles County dirt roads ($15,000,000)
  • Resurface 33 miles County roads ($5,000,000)
  • US Hwy. 501 Realignment from Broadway Street to 7th Avenue North ($13,900,000)
  • US Hwy. 701 Widening, North to Loris ($7,500,000)
  • Conway Perimeter Road Phase II ($18,400,000)
  • Pave 25 miles County dirt roads ($15,000,000)
  • Resurface 33.87 miles County dirt roads ($5,000,000)
  • Southern Evacuation Lifeline, SELL, Environment Studies and Right-of-Way ($25,000,000)
  • SC Hwy. 31/Carolina Bays Parkway Extension to SC/NC State line ($125,000,000)
  • Pave 25 miles County dirt roads ($15,000,000)

“Knowing that it’s going to take a wide variety of voters to come out to support it in order to pass,” said Lisa Bourcier, the county spokesperson. “I think  people were willing to give and take. And most of all the projects being considered on the referendum are very important to everybody’s day-to-day life.”

Also on the agenda, you can read how the question will be worded on the ballot. To summarize the question, it asks: Must a special one percent sales and use tax be imposed in Horry County for not more than eight years to cover these projects? Voters will vote “yes” or “no”. If you click on the link here and download the agenda, you’ll find that question on page 234.

Eddie Dyer, the RIDE III Tax Commission Chairman, will be at the council meeting Tuesday night to give a presentation about how the commission decided on these projects and the order.

There are two other unique ordinances that will go for first readings Tuesday night that are the result of residents coming to the county asking for change. First, a man bought 25 acres in the county with the hope of growing wine grapes, hosting tastings, and having a small store on site to sell his wine. This venture could be another addition to attracting visitors interested in agri-tourism. But Bourcier said he soon realized he couldn’t do that because there is no ordinance that would cover this type of venture. Currently, ordinances for wineries, breweries, and distilleries only cover manufacturing, distributing, and growing on a large scale. So he is bringing the issue to council for a possible solution.

The second ordinance involves raising livestock in forest agricultural districts. Currently, you must have more than two acres to raise livestock like chickens, cows, goats, and horses. But some people came to council members asking to change that to one and a half acres, so they can teach their kids about living off the land and where food comes from.

Bourcier said these two ordinances show how county council wants to respond and work with residents as you look for changes that affect your daily life.

“As trends change and the industry changes, you kind of have to change that. And that’s the beauty of ordinances and zoning. You can be able to create those,” said Bourcier.

The Horry County Council meeting will start at 6:00 p.m. at the Horry County Government and Justice Center in Conway.

Copyright 2016 WMBF News. All rights reserved.

By Katrina Helmer, Reporter

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