Tag: Ride II funds

New Year for Horry County Council

The New Year is starting out in strange fashion for Horry County Council as its first meeting will be held Thursday night.

Regular council meetings are normally held the first and third Tuesday’s of each month. I understand scheduling conflicts for some of the members moved the first meeting in January two days.

The New Year is starting out where last year left off as far as changes with council are concerned.

Horry County experienced a 44% turnover rate in council membership in 2015 with three new members elected to begin the year and two more new members joining the council in special elections during 2015.

The last of those new members, Jimmy Washington from District 3, won election December 22nd and will be attending his first meeting Thursday night.

The two newest members, Washington and Cam Crawford from District 6, won special elections for unexpired terms that end this year. They will be facing re-election contests in 2016.

But, it wasn’t just membership that changed on Horry County Council in 2015.

In my opinion, there was a rather cavalier attitude toward spending the people’s money that was much more disturbing.

Not only did a majority of council pass the largest property tax increase in county history in 2015, they also increased road vehicle tax by 67%.

Horry County Council Wastes Excess Ride II Funds

Tonight, Horry County Council will consider second reading and public review of an ordinance to use leftover Ride II funds for public safety radios.

That’s correct. In 2006, county council asked voters to tax themselves an extra penny on purchases in order to build or improve roads in the county.

Now that funds are leftover, council is trying to make up for years of ill-considered decisions about radios for the public safety division.

There doesn’t seem to be one budget year that goes by without millions of dollars of requests for new radios and supporting equipment.

Next year, Motorola, the manufacturer the county has used for a number of years, will stop supporting the radio system currently used by the county, causing the latest funding crisis.

State law allows capital projects sales tax excess funds to go into the county’s general fund to be spent as council decides.

However, we live in a county that just raised the road maintenance tax by 67% a few months ago. This will add approximately $3 million dollars per year to road maintenance and dirt road paving.