Tag: Economic Development

Santee Cooper, Corp. Welfare and Rising Rates

Santee Cooper and 20 associated electric coops in the state are providing economic development cash and rate cuts while raising the rates on current customers.

The electric company’s board recently approved rate hikes of 3.5 percent per year for the next two years for its residential, commercial, industrial and municipal customers. This on top of a rate increase in 2010, which brings the total increase into double digits.

At the same time, Santee Cooper provides tens of thousands of dollars in economic development incentives and up to a 20 percent rate reduction for new or expanding companies.

Nikki Haley’s Foreign Vacations

You have to give Gov. Nikki Haley credit. By the end of this week and in less than two years in office, she will have visited three of the world’s great cities. Even better for her, Haley’s foreign vacations are being paid for with taxpayer dollars.

These three trips, London, Paris and Tokyo, are billed under that great government boondoggle category “economic development.” No big surprise there, it’s the category always used when the real intent is ‘We want to use public dollars to advance private agendas.’

In Haley’s case, however, I believe her private agenda is political more than personal. Remember, this is a governor with two paid staffers (taxpayer dollars) to advance her image and profile.

Secrecy Surrounding MBREDC Projects

Secrecy continuing to surround MBREDC projects in Horry County is starting to wear thin with some council members.

Two Myrtle Beach Regional Economic Development Corporation projects took up most of the time during a meeting of Horry County Council Tuesday night. Of course, most of the discussion about Project Blue and Project AF took place behind closed doors in executive session, which is standard operating procedure for the EDC.

Council member Gary Loftus and council chairman Tom Rice tried to give excuses for the secret sessions, citing such things as the need to keep information secret in order to maintain a negotiating edge and council members were elected by the public to make these kinds of decisions.

Top Secret Economic Development

The secrecy surrounding a project of the Myrtle Beach Regional Economic Development Corporation, which will soon be up for second reading by county council on an ordinance to issue $8 million in public debt for the project, may be very good news for county residents.

I have had several conversations recently with local Republican activist, and one of the founders of the South Strand Republican Club, John Bonsignor about possibilities for the project. Bonsignor said he was asked, by EDC board member and former county Republican Party chairman Robert Rabon, to help promote passage of the ordinance by council members.

Even though he was given few details of the project, Bonsignor agreed to do so. Bonsignor did mention to me that he was of the understanding the total incentive package for the project totaled approximately $30 million for a 1,000 job call center. Bonsignor said he would like to get more details to have confidence in the project.

Open Letter to Horry County Council

The following letter was sent in e-mail form to all members of Horry County Council by an Horry County resident and taxpayer. A copy was provided to Grand Strand Daily. The author expresses his experiences through the years with applying for a job at our newest economic development incentive recipient AvCraft.

Dear Sir or Madam

My name is Andy McCormack and I have been a resident and tax payer of Horry County for 14 years, I have owned a home in Horry County for 13 years and I have 26.5 years as a skilled aircraft painter and 3.5 years of aircraft wire harness fabrication/installation experience. In 1996 I received my permanent residency visa from US immigration based on my skills and experience as an aircraft painter.