HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) - Horry County Council will explore property options to build a multi-use arena and meeting center somewhere within the county.
On Tuesday, county leaders gave Horry County Administrator Steve Gosnell the go-ahead to begin the search for open property.
Horry County council members Johnny Vaught and Danny Hardee said the plans for the project have been discussed several times and believe they now have every council members support to move the project forward.
“It’s time for us to move and get this thing going,” said Vaught.
The plan as of right now is to locate available property, particularly around Highway 22 or Highway 319, for a meeting center and multi purpose arena similar to the Florence Center.
“With the new change of leadership at the administrative level, as well as the chairman level, the time was right for us to move,” said Vaught.
The project is in the very early stages and would be funded by the economic development money the county receives from Horry Electric Cooperative each year.
“We’d have the opportunity to bring people into this arena to do horse shows, farm chemical shows, tractor shows, rodeos, basketball tournaments,” said Danny Hardee.
Hardee hopes the facility will bring more activity and events to the western part of Horry County, versus all tourism and events being on the coast.
The county will receive $400,000 per year from the Horry Electric and has already saved $1.2 million for the project over the past three years.
“We think it could be a great thing that’s not gonna replace recreation centers, but will be a multi-use facility for rural type activities,” said Vaught.
Horry Electric Cooperative released this statement on the project:
“We’re very excited about the possibility of a multi-use facility project moving forward in Horry County. It is much needed and will provide a boost to economic development efforts in our community.”
The location will also be centralized to Horry County and is the type of project many council members believe could open new doors for cities and town.
“I think everybody’s on the same page now and we can move forward and make this a reality,” said Hardee.
Plans and available locations will be presented to Horry County Council in September.
There is currently no timetable or estimated cost for this project at this time.