International Drive Latest

By Paul Gable

Letters are still being exchanged between Horry County and the Coastal Conservation League as the court filing deadline looms.

After the second meeting between Horry County officials and the conservationists ended abruptly with the demand of an additional $1.6 million payment from Horry County to The Nature Conservancy, Horry County sent a letter to the CCL to see if there were still possible areas of agreement.

According to sources close to the negotiations, the CCL answered with a letter and the county responded to that letter yesterday.

According to those sources, the CCL request for a $1.6 million payment from Horry County and the bear tunnels have been removed from the CCL demands.

Those two events would seem to put the two sides close enough together so that an agreement could be reached avoiding a request by the CCL for a contested hearing in Administrative Law Court.

However, as we have seen with this issue, nothing can be taken for granted.

In the meantime, the group from the Hwy 90/Carolina Forest area that went down to demonstrate in front of the CCL offices in Georgetown Wednesday is to be congratulated.

Citizens’ entrance into the political discussion that is the International Drive issue is important for both sides to understand.

The chant of “What do we want? International Drive, When do we want it? NOW” sums up the citizens’ position on the issue.

The conservationists are on the wrong side of this issue. International Drive is needed for both public safety access and some alleviation of congestion on the roads in the area.

As early as 2002, the Horry County Solid Waste Authority board was talking about using authority money to pave the road as a means of getting garbage trucks going to its landfill off of US 501.

Thirteen years and a major fire in 2009 later, we are still talking about getting the road paved.

It is the conservationists who have held all progress up. It’s time for them to bend to the will of the people.

Photo credit: Jason Lee jlee@thesunnews.com

 

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