Horry County preparing to sue Myrtle Beach over potential sale of campground land

Horry County preparing to sue Myrtle Beach over potential sale of campground land
Horry County officials plan to sue the city of Myrtle Beach over city leaders’ efforts to sell campground property that generates millions of dollars each year for Myrtle Beach International Airport. (Source: MyHorryNews)

Story courtesy of our news partners, MyHorryNews

Horry County officials plan to sue the city of Myrtle Beach over city leaders’ efforts to sell campground property that generates millions of dollars each year for Myrtle Beach International Airport.

The county signaled its intentions in a court document filed Friday. Written by deputy county attorney Randy Haldi, the filing is what’s known as a lis pendens, a Latin term that means “suit pending.” This type of record notifies anyone who might want to buy a piece of property that its title is in question. The document filed by the county states that the county is preparing to pursue an action against Myrtle Beach over nearly 145 acres inside Lakewood Camping Resort and PirateLand Family Camping Resort. The city expects to sell those properties to the two campground owners for a combined $60 million.

“We’re going to do what we can do legally to protect that property so that we can protect the airport,” Horry County Council Chairman Johnny Gardner said. “The airport’s important to Horry County.”

City spokesman Mark Kruea declined to comment on the potential lawsuit, saying the city typically doesn’t discuss litigation.

The dispute centers on a 2004 agreement between the county and the city that outlines how the revenues generated from the campground land should be divided. The city leases the property to the two campground owners for $3.6 million annually. As part of the agreement with the county, the city sends 75% of the lease revenue — about $2.7 million — to the county to be used at the airport, which the county manages.

But the city maintains the county contract strictly deals with lease revenues, not the proceeds from the sale of the land.

Myrtle Beach City Council took an initial vote to sell the property on Nov. 10. A second vote is needed to approve the sale, and that’s scheduled for next month.

The city’s proposal has irked county officials. They object to the sale because of the impact the lost revenue would have on airport operations. They also maintain the proposal does not meet the city’s legal obligations to the county.

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