Tag: Economic Development

Vote for Mike Roberts in Horry County District Seven

The right choice for Horry County Council District Seven in tomorrow’s general election is Republican Mike Roberts.

Trying to unseat a long-term incumbent in South Carolina is never easy, but Roberts has worked harder than any candidate I’ve seen in my 31 years in Horry County.

Incumbent Democrat James Frazier has served honorably on council for over 35 years, but it’s time for a change. In the past couple years, it has become obvious to this reporter that Frazier is past his prime and should have retired at the end of his current term.

UNC Cheating Scandal – Microcosm of America

I was surprised and saddened to read the scope of the UNC cheating scandal that spanned 18 years, but I should have expected it.

Full disclosure requires me to say I am not a Tar Heel fan, don’t bleed Carolina Blue and don’t even like the color.

Nevertheless, I always had a certain respect for the fact that UNC generally fielded highly competitive athletic teams while maintaining a solid academic reputation.

Now we know that is so much smoke and mirrors.

Thoughts on S.C. Gubernatorial Debate

The first S.C. Gubernatorial Debate for 2014 is now history and it proved absolutely nothing.

Gov. Nikki Haley is cruising to a second term election victory next month as long as she doesn’t make any fatal errors. Haley is smart enough to avoid fatal errors and she’ll “spin” her way out of any other miscues she makes like she always does.

Haley’s comment about being found “not guilty” on ethics violation charges is a perfect example, even though she paid ethics fines for incomplete campaign finance records and for using a state plane for prohibited events.

Last Chance for AvCraft

Nearly three years after it signed its latest economic development incentive package with Horry County, AvCraft Technical Services has one last chance to demonstrate its promises are more than hot air.

Sources within county government said AvCraft is currently three months behind in rent payments to the county. Additionally, according to those sources, AvCraft has not begun to make improvements to the fire suppression system and other improvements at the hangars it rents as agreed to in the latest incentive package.

Horry County Council voted Tuesday night to send AvCraft a “Right to Cure” notice that will specify how many days the company has to bring its rent arrearage up to current status or eviction proceedings could begin.

This wouldn’t be so bad if it wasn’t so predictable.

Star Tek Loses Contract, Is Horry Job Creation Impacted?

Another of the Myrtle Beach Regional Economic Development Corporation’s supposed star job catches appears to be experiencing difficulties, according to sources familiar with recent developments at Star Tek.

A customer service call center, Star Tek was expected to create approximately 665 new jobs in Horry County over a three year period.

However, according to several sources familiar with recent developments, current Star Tek employees received an email last evening saying Star Tek had lost its contract with Direct TV and all current employees were to report to Human Relations today for interviews.

Time for Horry County Council to Review EDC Funding

Before the Myrtle Beach Regional Economic Development Corporation gets too involved in a search for a new CEO, Horry County Council should take a hard look at its funding of the agency.

Despite new names, reorganizations of the agency and increased funding from county council, there have been relatively few actual new jobs created over the last 20 years.

The Horry County Administration Committee is expected to receive its quarterly jobs update from the county’s grant administration department at its August 1, 2014 meeting. This will be a tally, by company, of the number of new jobs created, not announced or promised, but actual people drawing paychecks since departing EDC CEO Brad Lofton was first hired in April 2011.

Haley Visit Doesn’t Stop PTR Industries Layoffs

One week after Gov. Nikki Haley visited PTR Industries to celebrate the company’s first anniversary of the announcement the company was relocating to Horry County, PTR Industries is laying off workers.

Touted as a ‘Hail Mary long ball’ attempt to boost sales, the Haley visit appears to have fallen short.

PTR Industries decided to relocate to Horry County after Connecticut, its former home, passed stricter new gun laws in the wake of the December 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings.

Project Blue Dies – RIP

Myrtle Beach Regional Economic Development Corporation president Brad Lofton announced to county council Tuesday night that the agency was discontinuing work on the infamous Project Blue.

This is the same project that Lofton called “Horry County’s Boeing” several months ago.

When the project was first announced back in June, council was notified it was on a fast track with a drop dead date to open by December 31, 2012.

Even though details of the project were sketchy to council and non-existent to the public for the first few months, the project seemed to be moving forward.

Nikki Haley and Economic Development

A recent announcement by the Schaeffler Group that they would be expanding their operations in Cheraw gave Gov. Nikki Haley the opportunity to claim economic development progress as she prepares for her 2014 run for re-election.

Schaeffler is a bearing manufacturer headquartered in Germany with two significant plants already operating in Cheraw with locations in Ft. Mill and Spartanburg as well. The total number of Schaeffler employees in South Carolina already numbers 2,300.

Haley and her propaganda chief Rob Godfrey would have us believe that the announced increase of 190 jobs in Cheraw was the direct result of the governor’s trip to the Paris Air Show in 2011.

The Carolina Southern Railroad Problem

Government and business officials from Horry, Marion and Columbus (NC) counties will form a new committee to discuss options for getting Carolina Southern Railroad back into operation.

Service on the railroad has been suspended since August 2011 due to structural problems with bridges on the system were discovered during an inspection by Federal Railroad Administration officials. The railroad voluntarily suspended service after initial and follow-up inspections revealed the bridge problems.

The railroad has spent approximately $400,000 repairing bridges along the line, but estimates at least another $1.5 million must be spent to complete the bridge repairs. Additionally, track upgrades are considered necessary for long term operation of the railroad.