Murrells Inlet Marsh Walk business refuses firework compromise

MurrellsInlet, SC (WMBF) - Every Monday night this summer, the sky over the Murrells Inlet Marsh Walk is lit up with fireworks.

Mondays have the slowest days for restaurants in the area so they decided to try something new to bring in visitors all seven days of the week.

"Is it worth the cost?" asks Al Hitchcock, owner ofDrunken Jack's.  "Maybe, Is it worth the experience that the visitors get to have in Murrells Inlet? Yes."

Now, State Representative Stephen Goldfinch is using those same fireworks as a bargaining chip.

Recently, local organizations have raised the issue of the noise and trash that comes from the show, so Goldfinch proposed a compromise.  He will stop opposing a millage increase for the fire district if the Marsh Walk stops the fireworks.

The restaurant owners said no.

"Public safety and people enjoying themselves... it's two different categories that shouldn't even be lumped together," said Hitchcock.

Goldfinch tells WMBF News that many locals he's heard from want the fireworks gone. He also says the public has made it clear to him they wanted more funding for the fire department.

"Would I trade my vote?"asked Hitchcock. "Yes, probably because the fire department is dear to me."

Hitchcock is not only an owner of Drunken Jacks on the Marsh Walk, he is also chairman for the board of the Murrells Inlet-Garden City Fire district.

Representative Goldfinch believes that complicates the issue.

"Can we get by; are we going to fold up? No, but for people to save money on their insurance, yes, we do need the increase," explained Hitchcock.

At this point, the district's only hope for the millage increase is a bill that was already vetoed by Gov. Haley. The Senate overrode the veto before the summer.

Hitchcock says they are hoping the House will override the veto before the fire insurance ratings are due in August.

Copyright 2014 WMBF News. All rights reserved.