Horry County officials to discuss RIDE III road projects

Ride III meets this afternoon to evaluate potential road projects

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - The Ride III Sales Tax Commission meets Thursday afternoon to discuss the list of proposed road projects and improvements for Horry County. This would be the RIDE III projects funded by another Riding on a Penny sales tax that is planned as a referendum on the November 2016 ballot.

On the agenda for Thursday's meeting, the commission members will hear from an SCDOT representative about additional cost estimates. And they will also discuss possibly removing some bicycle and pedestrian lanes on some projects.

Also on the agenda, members will discuss what to do with an additional projected $60 million to the budget. They can either give that as extra funding to an existing project or add some more projects to the list.

Dyer says once that is done, he really hopes the group can decide on a lineup of which projects to include and prioritize them.

"We're talking over $500 million in projects to be considered! Plus it's a sales tax," explains county spokeswoman Lisa Bourcier. "It will be a penny on that dollar that will be taxed to not only the residents but the tourists for eight years. So it's a big decision. So the earlier people can be educated on the topic, the better."

This will all eventually come down to your vote. Once the tax commission finalizes the list of projects, then it will go to county council. Council can either reject the whole list or approve the whole list. If passed, it will go as a referendum on the November 2016 general election ballot. That is when you will vote either for or against the entire list plus an additional penny sales tax.

With that in mind, county leaders decided it was critical to put all the information about all these projects out there for you to easily access. So on the county's website, there is a page dedicated to RIDE III. Click on the "Council" button on the homepage, then scroll down and on the right hand side there will be a button for RIDE III. Or click here to go straight to that page.

On this RIDE III Sales Tax Commission page you will find all the commission members, their contact information, and what areas they represent. You'll also find archived video from past meetings, maps, and project proposals. If you cannot attend a meeting, you can live-stream the meetings. That option is also found on the RIDE III webpage.

"Once we get through this meeting as well, they really want to take that information out into the community as well," said Bourcier. "So I'm sure that we will have public meetings throughout the county as well. So people can see the maps and some of the information that's being considered."

Bourcier said she believes the commission is working to have a final list of projects ready by May 2016.

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