Myrtle Beach House I-73 Mail Upsets Horry County Council Members
HORRY COUNTY, SC (WBTW) — A flyer in support of I-73 sent out by the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce has upset some members of the Horry County Board.
The flyer urges residents to tell Horry County Council to fund I-73. The flyer said the area was “one lane away from being cut off” during Hurricane Florence. While Horry County Council said that was true, many members were upset the chamber singled them out when the money has to come from other sources – not just Horry County.
“I believe Horry County in the past – and I repeat, Mr. Chairman – has supported and will continue to support the I-73 project,” Councilman Harold Worley said. “The problem we have again is that the federal government, the state government, is not stepping in.”
Council members took issue with the line on the flyer stating that federal and state money are aligned.
“That’s just not true,” Worley said. “It’s for the local government, but not for the federal government and the state.”
Councilman Bill Howard said the county pledged its money years ago.
“We had it on our books, on our budget to pledge our money,” Howard said. “When the Chamber of Commerce announced that they needed the county to step in, we were the first to respond.”
“When I get this in the mail, I feel like I got slapped, Al,” Worley said. “I don’t mind you telling the truth about us, but don’t.”
Councilor Johnny Vaught said council should deal with local roads first. Councilman Al Allen echoed that.
“Why does Horry County always have to be the only ranger?” Why do they want our money? It’s just a drop in the bucket. We are committing to I-73 when the state and federal government will,” Allen said. “I am not against I-73, but I am for representing all citizens of Horry County.”
In a statement to News13, the Myrtle Beach area chamber of commerce said it stands by what it sent in what it calls an “educational campaign.”
“Public safety officials worked around the clock after Hurricane Florence to maintain an open roadway to and from Myrtle Beach,” chamber president and CEO Karen Riordan said in the statement. communicated. “I-73 has merit for many reasons, including the need to provide a vital escape route in the event of future coastal emergencies.”
In December, Myrtle Beach and North Myrtle Beach both pledged money for the project.
In October, South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster visited Myrtle Beach and pledged $300 million for I-73.
The project is estimated at around $2.3 billion. During the announcement, he said he hoped a state pledge would bolster the commitment of federal lawmakers working to secure funds for the project.
The South Carolina portion of I-73 would run from the Rockingham/Hamlet area, into Marlboro County, then into Dillon County, before intersecting with Interstate 95, then hitting the freeway 22 in the Myrtle Beach/Conway area.
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News13’s Maria DeBone will have more of this story on News13 on 5, 6 and 11.