Update: International Drive and the CCL

By Paul Gable

Update

Several sources have told GSD the Coastal Conservation League has responded to a letter sent by county officials since the last meeting between the two sides.

According to those sources, the Coastal Conservation League’s position has come much closer to the county’s position on outstanding issues regarding International Drive.

The Horry County Transportation Committee will meet tomorrow and the sources say the latest terms from the Coastal Conservation League will be discussed, probably in executive session.

The deadline for the CCL to file for a contested hearing in Administrative Law Court is Monday I am told. Sources told GSD the league has that filing prepared and ready to submit.

If the county and CCL reach agreement, even after a request for hearing is filed, the request can be pulled and International Drive construction go forward.

Congratulations to those citizens who traveled to Georgetown to register their protest in person. It is beyond time to get International Drive completed.

Ed Note: See more news regarding here: http://www.myrtlebeachonline.com/news/local/article32441454.html

Propaganda and dissimulation have entered the International Drive debate in the form of an email sent by the Coastal Conservation League yesterday.

Evidently opposed to the First Amendment rights of Horry County citizens who plan to picket the CCL offices today in support of International Drive, the email said, “These people are smearing the conservation community, peddling misinformation, and resorting to other nefarious tactics in the name of paving and widening International Drive in Horry County.”

These citizens are neither smearing the conservation community nor peddling misinformation!

After last week’s attempt to obtain $1.6 million from Horry County for an agreement to drop opposition to International Drive, the CCL is playing the bear card again.

One other area of propaganda must again be addressed.

The email said, “SCDNR’s original conveyance of Heritage Trust property to Horry County in 2010 for the construction of this road included the condition that underground bear passageways be included. Three years later, Horry County asked SCDNR to eliminate the underground bear passageways in exchange for a handsome sum of money that wasn’t included in the first contract.”

What the email doesn’t say is that a fire roared through the area seriously depleting the bear population in the interim between the original conveyance and the agreement to eliminate the underground passageways.

It also doesn’t say that a completed International Drive would have allowed firefighters much earlier access to the fire area limiting the damage that eventually jumped SC 31 and spread to Briarcliff neighborhoods.

Horry County paid SCDNR $122,000 with the second contract. This money was for rights of way along SCDNR land, which occupies one side of the planned International Drive. It would have been paid bear tunnels or not.

If the county had agreed last week to pay $1.6 million for extra mitigation, which has nothing to do with the project, the opposition would have been dropped by the CCL. The $1.6 million wasn’t in the first agreement either.

As an aside, a friend of mine in New Jersey sent me this message Tuesday morning, “A bear crossed in front of me during my walk this morning. He seemed untroubled by the lack of a tunnel or, for that matter, even a crosswalk.”

As Gen. James Vaught, one of the prime supporters of a completed International Drive before his death, used to say, “Where does a bear cross the road? Anywhere he damn well pleases!”

I would submit that any combination of bear tunnels and fences restricting access across International Drive will only drive the bears to nearby Hwy 90 where there are no tunnels or fences, but plenty of traffic.

CCL is entitled to send any message it wants, but the truth hurts it in this case.

The only reason for continuing to hinder progress on International Drive is because CCL is acting like a two year old throwing a tantrum because it is not getting its own way.

The CCL email: Friends

 

Photo credit: Jason Lee jlee@thesunnews.com

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