HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - Mike Wooten, SCDOT Commissioner of the 7th Congressional District spoke to the Republican Executive Committee of Horry County Monday night.
Wooten said his intentions were to discuss how to increase revenues in an effort to maintain the roads in SC and to explain the permitting issues associated with the roads the state is trying
Wooten said the delay of I-73 is costing Horry County taxpayers millions of dollars. He said in order to change that, the community needs to get involved.
"People need to be aware that their tax dollars are being wasted dealing with these frivolous issues," Wooten said.
Wooten said it's the letter that groups such as the Coastal Conservation League write in opposition to I-73 is what's costing taxpayers so much money.
"When we try to move forward with the project, we have to go through the permitting processes that's necessary to get these roads built. But then there's the ability, because of the way the laws are written, for somebody for the price of a postage stamp to oppose the permit," Wooten said.
Wooten says tax dollars go towards attorney fees to and construction fees. But CCL Representative Nancy Cave said part of the permit process is to get public comment and that's what the CCL is doing by writing
the letters. Wooten said the groups know their efforts push the project back.
"The people have the opportunity to speak out, but it's not the people who have problems with these projects," Wooten said.
Wooten said the SCDOT wouldn't be in the position it's in with I-73 if there were some repercussions for people who fight a permit.
"Post a bond for 10% of the value of that project. If you lose, you forfeit the bond. That money goes to pay for the loss of time and money that's associated with the permitting process," Wooten said.
Cave said the CCL is not holding up the permit process, nor costing tax payers money. Cave said Wooten's accusations are a diversion to the fact that there is no money and no permits for I-73. Wooten said the SCDOT is having a hard time securing funds for the project, but the letters of opposition aren't helping to move the process along.
"We are fourth from the top in the number of lane miles that are looked after by our DOT compared to the other states. And, we're fourth from the bottom in funding per lane mile. So we're at the wrong end of both of those graphs," Wooten said.
Wednesday, May 22 2013 10:29 PM EDT2013-05-23 02:29:33 GMT
FLORENCE COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – The Florence Civic Center alongside of the American Red Cross, City of Florence, Florence County and other civic and church organizations throughout the Pee Dee want to giveMore >>
The Florence Civic Center alongside of the American Red Cross, City of Florence, Florence County and other civic and church organizations throughout the Pee Dee want to give community members a chance to help the Moore, OK community in the aftermath of the devastating tornado that ripped through their town.More >>
Wednesday, May 22 2013 10:13 PM EDT2013-05-23 02:13:53 GMT
FLORENCE, SOUTH CAROLINA (WMBF) - Overgrown weeds and grass has led members of a Florence community to call Pine Needles Road a "place of eyesores". Recently Pine Needles Road underwent major construction.More >>
Overgrown weeds and grass has led members of a Florence community to call Pine Needles Road a "place of eyesores".More >>
Wednesday, May 22 2013 8:26 PM EDT2013-05-23 00:26:06 GMT
NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – Thousands of people are expected to pack Grand Strand beaches this Memorial Day weekend, which kicks off the busiest time of the year for emergency crews like lifeguardsMore >>
Thousands of people are expected to pack Grand Strand beaches this Memorial Day weekend, which kicks off the busiest time of the year for emergency crews like lifeguards in North Myrtle Beach and doctors in the emergency room.More >>
Wednesday, May 22 2013 8:12 PM EDT2013-05-23 00:12:53 GMT
Walking along the local beach coastline visitors can spot large pipes laying on the sand carrying street water into the ocean, and its those pipes which many local leaders don't want to have to see. LastMore >>
North Myrtle Beach has been working on completing an on-going project with the city's storm water drains along the coastline and now leaders are looking for federal dollars.More >>
Wednesday, May 22 2013 5:32 PM EDT2013-05-22 21:32:57 GMT
HARTSVILLE, SC (WMBF) - A car stolen from a Hartsville dealership has been recovered, and the three people inside that led authorities on a chase are now behind bars. The white Jeep that sped away fromMore >>
A car stolen from a Hartsville dealership has been recovered, and the three people inside that led authorities on a chase are now behind bars.More >>
Wednesday, May 22 2013 5:13 PM EDT2013-05-22 21:13:02 GMT
MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - A Marion County man was arrested Tuesday in connection with allegations that he represented himself as a SLED agent. Johnathin Matrice Rogers, 31, has been charged with one countMore >>
A Marion County man was arrested Tuesday in connection with allegations that he represented himself as a SLED agent.More >>