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.