County cuts $500K from MBREDC budget - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

County cuts $500K from MBREDC budget

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MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - The Myrtle Beach Regional Economic Development Committee is through the first step to get next year's funding, but the Horry County Administration Committee wants to cut $500,000 from the corporation's product development budget.

"It seems that we're just putting money in there that we're not really using at this point," said County Council Chairman Mark Lazarus. "We don't really need to build that fund."

The product development fund is set aside by Horry County Council to the EDC for the purpose of building offices, warehouses, and other spec buildings which serve as an incentive for potential companies looking at the Grand Strand.

The Admin Committee moved the proposal forward to Horry County Council to consider, and they also submitted a revised contract for the EDC for the upcoming year.

"We went back and added a 90 day clause," Chairman Lazarus said. "They're funded on a quarterly basis, so in between their funding levels, if we find they're not serving us well we've got that clause."

The 90 day proposal replaces a stipulation in the current contract stating if EDC Chairman Brad Lofton fails to create 500 jobs by June 30, he could face termination.

"We're at 458 right now," said MBREDC Spokesperson Candace Howell. "We do believe we're not only going to surpass it, but go way above and beyond that goal."

Council members say the EDC is on the right track, even if they don't make the 500 mark in June, but they want to get rid of the job creation requirement. The main problem, Chairman Lazarus said, is that just because a company commits to an operation in Horry County, doesn't mean jobs come to the area immediately.

"Once you contract with a new company, you may have to build them a building," he said. "It could bet 12 to 18 months before they're actually working."

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