CONWAY, SC (WMBF) – In a full classroom at Coastal Carolina University, the Ride III committee met for the first time. Their goal is to continue to fix Horry County's road problem over the next two years.
The committee will meet every month and will take many lessons from the previous Ride II committee that ended in April. The Ride II committee used a penny sales tax to fund various road projects around the county, and the Ride III committee plans to do the same thing.
"I think the taxpayers are certainly getting what they expected from the penny sales tax," explained Mike Wooten, Chairman of the Ride II committee.
Ride II used the money generated through a one-cent sales tax on projects like the backgate construction, 707 widening, and the Aynor overpass. The Ride III committee is projecting close to $530 million from the new proposed penny sales tax.
The committee will have until the 2016 general election to decide on what roads need fixing. Then, voters will decide whether or not to instate the tax.
Leaders say the two-year wait will help voters see the fruits of their labor.
"Tax payers need to see that, they voted for the referendum seven years ago and they need to be able to see that they got their money's worth," Wooten said.
Ride III is still deciding on how they will choose the road projects to fund. With the previous Ride II, they chose based on five criteria: level of service, safety, connectivity, environmental responsibility, and mobility.
The group should have the projects selected and prioritized by March or April 2015.