As Horry County Council prepares to select the six-member Ride III commission, a cautionary note on project selection is appropriate.
The commission will be charged with developing the final list of projects and the order in which they are to be completed. That list will be sent to Horry County Council for an up or down vote.
If the list passes council vote, it will be submitted to voters in the form of a referendum on the November 2016 general election ballot.
The preliminary list of 31 projects compiled by a 17-member Ride III committee will be taken under consideration by the commission, but it may also add projects it desires.
The committee list of 31 projects is estimated to have a total cost $1.9 billion. The Ride III sales tax referendum, if passed, is expected to generate approximately $530 million in sales tax revenue. You can see there is still much work to be done.
And that’s why the work must be done carefully.
Included in the committee list are some very good projects. However, at least three projects in the list have the potential to blow up Ride III projects completely.
Those three are the Southern Evacuation Lifeline (SELL) which was slated for $25 million by the committee for feasibility studies and right of way property acquisitions, the extension of SC 31 to the North Carolina border and the realignment of US 501 in Myrtle Beach.