Bill to allow hospitality fee money to be used to fix flooding issues heads to McMaster’s desk

Updated: Sep. 26, 2020 at 9:56 AM EDT
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MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - A bill that would allow hospitality fee money to be used to fix flooding issues is one signature away from becoming law.

Sen. Marlon Kimpson, a democrat representing Charleston and Dorchester Counties, filed the bill two years ago. It passed through the South Carolina Senate earlier this week.

Now, Gov. Henry McMaster’s signature is the only thing standing in the way of the bill becoming law.

Kimpson said this means local lawmakers will be able to have one extra tool in the toolbox to fix ongoing flooding problems.

“In order to have a robust commerce, we have to make sure that our local government has the resources to address sunny day flooding, nuisance flooding in those incidents which are becoming increasingly more prevalent,” Kimpson said.

Sen. Stephen Goldfinch said even though a Charleston senator filed the bill, it could certainly help areas of Horry and Georgetown counties too, since they’re so flood prone.

“In the last five or 10 years, we’ve seen these thousand-year floods or 500-year floods almost every year,” Goldfinch said.

The bill is well received by some local lawmakers.

“I am very pleased to see that the state has taken action to ensure that our flood prone areas can receive some assistance,” Myrtle Beach Mayor Brenda Bethune said.

Horry County Councilman Cam Crawford also thinks the legislation will be beneficial. However, he says the money likely won’t be able to be used to fix flooding issues in residential areas like Socastee.

It’ll be more so for roads tourists frequently use since hospitality fee money has to be used for tourism-related initiatives.

It’s now up to McMaster to sign off on the bill. Kimpson says he doesn’t believe there’s any reason to believe McMaster won’t sign off on it in the next few days.

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