Neighborhoods split on Myrtle Beach annexation

Myrtle Beach, SC - By A.J. Ross - bio | email

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – The City of Myrtle Beach wants to grow its population by incorporating areas near the city that fall under Horry County jurisdiction.

However, people who live in some of the affected neighborhoods say they have mixed feelings about the annexation, in addition to the pros and cons of paying city taxes.

"We would have to pay the county and the city taxes if we got annexed," John Devaux said, who lives along Arundel Road near 38th Avenue North.  "In my opinion, I think we're paying less in the county and I just don't want to be a part of the city."

Devaux's neighbor, George Geiger, says he wants to be incorporated into the city limits, especially if it improves access to services.

"I think it makes a lot of sense for the city to pursue the annexation. We have about five communities in this area," Geiger said.  "I think it ultimately would benefit the community and the city and be generally good."

Geiger says he has concerns about public safety, and being a Myrtle Beach resident would entitle his neighborhood to city services like police, fire and EMS.

"We would in all probability have faster responsiveness from the city police," Geiger said.

The Myrtle Beach Police Department has 190 officers patrolling the city limits, which stretch from the Grand Dunes down to the Market Common.  The Horry County Police Department has 262 officers on the force, covering a much bigger territory.

"Especially in residential communities and business communities, our police officers are able to respond a whole lot faster than the county because they're available," Edna Wright, the Growth Coordinator for the City of Myrtle Beach, explained. "One of the problems that we have is that the county and the city aren't sure who should be the first responder in some of these areas, and that creates a problem and even a delay in response time."

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