Horry County to ask SCDOT for extension on I-73 funding

Horry County I-73 update

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – Horry County leaders will ask the South Carolina Department of Transportation for an extension regarding its contract for Interstate 73.

They were expected to approve a work plan for the project by June 30, but the county wants to push it back to October in order to get things sorted out in terms of funding.

The county entered into an agreement with SCDOT to spend up to $25 million per year on the interstate.

But now the county has been trying to figure out how to pay for the project after municipalities moved to take control of their hospitality fees, cutting off the county’s collection of tax dollars. That money was meant to fund I-73.

Now Myrtle Beach is suing Horry County, claiming the county has been illegally collecting the money since 2017.

“The county itself can obviously not do I-73 without the hospitality fee or without raising taxes somewhere or something like that,” said Horry County councilman Johnny Vaught. “We had a plan in place and then this lawsuit thing comes up and basically blows the plan out of the water, so we’re in somewhat of a limbo as far as I-73. If we don’t have some sort of funding in place, we cannot move forward with I-73.”

The Horry County Council held an executive session Tuesday night where they received legal advice on the ongoing feud between them and the city of Myrtle Beach over the hospitality fee.

Copyright 2019 WMBF. All rights reserved.