Community members share hopes to make Carolina Forest a city

Published: Sep. 13, 2023 at 8:31 PM EDT
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HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) - Taxes are at the forefront of the conversation about turning Carolina Forest into its own town or city.

At a Wednesday meeting, residents and organizers Norman Fay and Kevin Kiely addressed residents’ major financial concerns and why the idea is even being brought up.

At the last meeting, Fay referenced a 2018 study generated by the Carolina Forest Civic Association on the possibility of incorporating Carolina Forest.

He also said it was actually in the original documents for Carolina Forest in 1998 for it to be incorporated.

Wednesday’s meeting marks the third time residents have gotten together to discuss the idea.

Residents who are against the idea said it would increase their taxes instead of decrease them and also mean they would need to fund their own police and fire departments.

Those who are for the idea said, it’s all about wanting better representation in the county and having a better setup for future generations.

“I want to see this. I want my kids and my grandkids to benefit from this not from my point of view. It’s not going to benefit me. I don’t have a ballpark to play on now and I don’t play ball at 70,” Kiely said.

Some neighbors said the designation could help reduce school overcrowding and traffic congestion. Carolina Forest would control more of its own business than Horry County.

While Wednesday’s talks may have gotten heated at times some attendees took the stage to remind folks they all share a single, common goal.

Kiely said, “I know that if we surveyed just this room of 50 people and we had a board up here and we wrote down what was important to people, we’d have a dozen ideas up there that are important.”

Fay and Kiley said the next steps are to get 3,000 signatures to send to the state to get approval to turn the neighborhood into its own city.

Right now, they said they are nowhere near the 3,000 goal. Organizers also added they are now determining how much money their own police and fire station would cost.

A next meeting has not been scheduled, but WMBF News was told it would be at the end of October.