Some homeowners want to see I-73 issue on the ballot

Updated: May. 20, 2019 at 6:50 PM EDT
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HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – One voting district shows overwhelming support for I-73 after five members on county council wanted to find out how their constituents feel.

Not everyone is on board though.

Rich Malzone said he thinks a more effective way to poll the area is to put the question on the ballot.

"County money should not be used. Interstates are built by the states and the federal government,” said Malzone.

Horry County councilman Johnny Vaught, who represents District 8, said he and a few others on council paid money out of their own pocket to have a professional survey company do the work.

"We feel like it was a good poll and we’ve been accused that we didn’t have a big enough sample area, but that’s because people didn’t understand that this was not a county-wide poll,” said Vaught.

Vaught said after getting a list of registered voters, a list of those who voted in the last two, three or four elections, was compiled. He said those who are Republican from that list were chosen, but cellphone numbers were eliminated.

According to the results for District 8 provided by Vaught, 71% of people in his district voted to support the construction of I-73 and 29% voted to disapprove the construction of I-73. One hundred twenty nine people answered that question.

"I was a little bit surprised at how strong the support was for I-73 because there are a lot of vocal people out there that are against I-73,” said Vaught.

“I don’t know one person who was surveyed,” said Malzone.

Malzone said he’s not against an interstate altogether, but he doesn’t think local money should be used to pay for it, and it should connect at a different access point.

"Building an interstate to 74 and 40 down to the county line. All we have to do is extend 31 to meet it. A lot cheaper,” said Malzone.

He also suggested the idea of an interstate connecting at another access point like SC 31.

Vaught said the survey cost each councilman involved about $160, and it was money out of their own pockets. He said he’d be open to conducting the survey again to include the whole county. Representatives of the other districts would also need to express interest, according to Vaught.

The survey also asked the person if they would support a tax increase to hire additional police and fire. Sixty four percent of people voted in favor of that in district 8.

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