Tag: horry county government

County Undermining Bike Rally?

Only five days before the start of this year’s Harley Davidson Spring Bike Rally, Grand Strand Daily has learned that the county is apparently not living up to its responsibilities on the issuance of vendor permits and other areas related to the event.

County council killed an ordinance that attempted to further limit bike rally vendor permits and attendance last month by a 10-2 vote. This action resulted in no change to current county law with respect to special event and vendor permits.

However, Grand Strand Daily learned this morning that a temporary restraining order was issued against the county to stop changes on a special event permit for the Suck, Bang and Blow restaurant.

Trash, Dollars and Horry County Government

As the Horry County budget process gains momentum later this month through the end of June, one entity we will be watching with interest is the Horry County Solid Waste Authority.

In our opinion, this quasi-independent government created authority works counter to the interests of private business and the public in Horry County, provides no real value to Horry County government, but works hard on propaganda and its self-image while amassing millions of dollars in excess funds that could be put to better use.

The SWA controls the waste stream (garbage and debris) within the county through a flow control ordinance passed by county council several years ago. The ordinance dictates that all garbage generated within the county must be disposed of at the SWA Hwy 90 landfill at rates dictated by the SWA.

Bike Rally Issue Still Undecided

An eleventh hour discovery that the ordinance amending the vendor and special events permits needed to go to the Planning Commission for a recommendation prior to final consideration from council keeps an issue potentially affecting the May bike rallies undecided.

Third reading of the ordinance was scheduled for county council last night. If the ordinance had been approved in its present form, vendor permits would be allowed for seven days at reduced fees from prior years. Both would be positive results for the bike rallies.

Instead, council chairman Tom Rice announced county attorney Arrigo Carotti had contacted him earlier in the day stating the ordinance must be reviewed and a recommendation received from the Planning Commission prior to final consideration from council.

Horry Move Would Restrict Gun Use

The Horry County Public Safety Committee will discuss a proposed ordinance tomorrow night that would seriously restrict gun use in the unincorporated areas of the county.

Prompted by several complaints received by the county within the last 12 months, county attorney Arrigo Carotti drafted an ordinance for county council consideration that would eliminate many areas currently used for hunting. The ordinance would also limit the ability of homeowners to protect their property from animals they consider to pose a direct threat to people or property.

The restrictions of the ordinance are:

1) It shall be unlawful for any person in the unincorporated area of the county to discharge any rifle, gun, pistol, revolver, bow or other similar instrument from any means of which any bullet, shot or other missile of any kind may be projected within one thousand two hundred (1,200) feet of the property boundaries of any school, or other public building or park.

Horry County Police Changing at Top (Updated 2/10)

With the SLED investigation of the Horry County Police Department complete and the Attorney General’s Office finding nothing of prosecutorial merit in the findings, the Horry County Police Department is now in position to move on to a new beginning.

With the investigation exonerating the police department and its evidence handling procedures, Chief Johnny Morgan will soon announce his retirement. Sources tell Grand Strand Daily that Morgan has been in the process of cleaning out his office and was just waiting for the investigation to be completed so he would not retire under a cloud of suspicion.

According to sources close to the department, Assistant Chief David Beatty’s days are also numbered. Beatty is rumored to not be the choice to replace Morgan and he has been applying for positions in other departments around the state.

County Employees Could See Pay Raise

Horry County employees have not had a raise in the past three budget years, but that could change in the upcoming year. A majority of council members currently seem inclined to include an employee pay raise in the FY 2013 budget.

The county has weathered three difficult budget years and is currently running an approximately $9 million surplus in this year’s budget. It’s not that revenues are making a real comeback, it’s more that county government has significantly cut expenses over the past three years.

Much of the blame for local budget shortfall in the past three years can be laid at the feet of the state General Assembly. When Act 388 was passed in 2006, eliminating owner occupied homes from property taxes that funded school operating budgets, the state raised the sales tax one penny, promising to fund school operating costs from the state budget.

New Policy Needed for County Transportation Committee Funds

The spotlight that shined last week on the controversial proposed paving of Goldmine Road illuminated the need for a new policy governing the way state transportation “C” funds are disbursed and used in Horry County.

“C” funds come from 2.66 cents of the 16 cents per gallon state tax on gasoline and are apportioned to the counties according to a formula established in state law. They are collected by the S.C. Department of Revenue and Taxation and are deposited in the County Transportation Fund in the state Treasury until they are disbursed.

According to state law, 25 percent of the funds must be spent on the state highway system for construction, maintenance or improvements of state roads. The remainder may be spent for paving or improving local roads, traffic and street signs, road resurfacing, sidewalk construction and drainage improvements.

Horry County Announces Economic Incentives to AvCraft Again

Accompanied by glowing pronouncements from state and some local officials, AvCraft Technical Services, Inc. received a second round of incentives from Horry County and the state with the promise to create 150 new jobs over the next three years.

“AvCraft’s decision to expand their workforce by 150 employees is a tremendous testimony of our attractiveness as an aviation destination. I am thankful for the company’s commitment to Horry County and proud of our economic development team for this terrific announcement,” said Tom Rice, chairman of the Horry County Council.

“It’s another great day in South Carolina, and we are going to celebrate AvCraft’s decision to expand and create 150 new jobs in Horry County. Bringing jobs and investment to our state continues to be a top priority of this administration, and we will build on this year’s success in 2012,” said Gov. Nikki Haley.

Horry County to Control Admin Search

By a vote of 11-1, Horry County Council members said they would be the sole body to choose the new county administrator.

Council members were presented with a plan for the search process that would have included input into the process by outside groups such as stakeholders and county staff. The process, supported by Chairman Tom Rice, would have had the finalists chosen and ranked by county council. The finalists would next meet with county stakeholders and county staff, who would provide independent input and cause a possible adjustment to the rankings first set by council.