HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - Horry County Council passed the final reading of an ordinance to put Ride III, which includes $592 million in road projects, on the ballot this November.
This is the proposed referendum question:
"Must a special 1 percent sales and use tax be imposed in Horry County ("the County") for not more than eight (8) years from the date of imposition to raise the amounts specified for the following purposes, and in order to defray a portion of the costs of the projects described below (including rights-of-way acquisition and architectural, engineering, legal and related fees), pending the receipt of such sales and use tax, must the County also be authorized to issue and sell, either as a single issue or as several separate issues, general obligation bonds (the "Bonds") in an aggregate principal amount not exceeding $532,000,000, to be paid from the sales and use tax received and pledged to the payment of the principal of and interest on the Bonds, and an ad valorem tax if the sales tax is inadequate for the payment of the bonds?"
This is the list of projects from the ordinance:
1. $50,000,000 U.S. Hwy. 501 Corridor improvements – S.C. Hwy. 31 to S.C. 544
2. $15,000,000 Pave 25 miles of county dirt roads
3. $54,700,000 Carolina Forest Boulevard Widening
4. $ 7,500,000 Palmetto Pointe Boulevard Extension to S.C. Hwy. 544
5. $21,700,000 S.C. Hwy. 9 East Widening (Loris)
6. $ 5,000,000 Resurface 33.13 miles of city roads
7. $65,100,000 U.S. Hwy. 701 N. Widening (North Conway)
8. $19,300,000 Fred Nash Boulevard connection to Harrelson Boulevard – Myrtle Beach
9. $19,800,000 U.S. Hwy. 17 Business Intersection Improvements - Garden City
10. $89,100,000 Forestbrook Road Widening
11. $15,000,000 Pave 25 miles of county dirt roads
12. $ 5,000,000 Resurface 33 miles of county roads
13. $13,900,000 U.S. Hwy. 501 realignment from Broadway Street to Seventh Avenue North
14. $ 7,500,000 U.S. Hwy. 701 Widening – North to Loris
15. $18,400,000 Conway Perimeter Road Phase II
16. $15,000,000 Pave 25 miles of county dirt roads
17. $ 5,000,000 Resurface 33.87 miles of county roads
18. $25,000,000 Southern Evacuation Lifeline (SELL) – Environmental studies and right-of-way
19. $125,000,000 S.C. Hwy. 31 (Carolina Bays Parkway) extension to S.C./N.C. state line
20. $15,000,000 Pave 25 miles of County dirt roads
The RIDE III Advisory Committee came up with the projects. Their proposal went on to the RIDE III Sales Tax Commission before going in front of county council.
"We really did try to have projects that nearly every voter could touch and identify with and say, 'Yeah, I need that. That will help me get around this area and that will be less frustrating,'" said Bo Ives, who was a member of the advisory committee.
Ives said he thinks it's important for RIDE III to pass because it will take another two years to come up with a new plan to fix roads in Horry County.
South Carolina Department of Transportation Commission Chairman Mike Wooten said he thinks the list is comprehensive and certain projects are vital to improving people's daily lives as well as contributing to economic development.
Voters will see the RIDE III sales tax ballot question at the polls on Nov. 8.