By Paul Gable
Yesterday’s meeting on International Drive ended with further discussions scheduled for August 17, 2015.
According to several sources who attended the meeting between Horry County officials and representatives from the Coastal Conservation League and SC Wildlife Federation, yesterday’s talks were very cordial and very open.
The sources said both sides presented several options that could be considered for a compromise on the current International Drive standoff.
“We gave each other some options and both sides are going to talk about them,” said Horry County Council Chairman Mark Lazarus. “Hopefully when we get together on the 17th we can come to some type of agreement. If it works out, I believe everyone will be happy.”
Specifics on the options each side presented are not available. Lazarus said both sides agreed to keep those confidential until the next meeting.
Lazarus said he emphasized the importance of International Drive to the citizens of Carolina Forest and the strong support of citizens in the Carolina Forest area to getting the project completed.
The International Drive project was initially scheduled to be completed in 2013 as one of the last roads on the Ride II list of projects.
Another official who attended the meeting said he believes a compromise will be able to be found at the August 17th scheduled meeting.
“I believe the sentiment on both sides was to find a way to move the project forward in a positive manner,” the source said. “We probably should have had this conversation several years ago, but neither side reached out until now.”
Credit for the initial approach goes to Lazarus who said he wanted to explore the possibility of a compromise before the issue was taken to the Administrative Law Court.
At least for now, things are looking a little brighter and more positive for the possibility of beginning work on the International Drive project in the near future.
Maybe the environmentalist groups have realized this is the wrong project to be so determined to stop because of the importance of the road and the support it has from the general citizenry. Being too adamant on the International Drive project could threaten the support they can expect when addressing real problem issues such as I-73 and the SELL road.