Horry County looking to get a head start on RIDE III

Horry County looking to get a head start on RIDE III

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – Horry County leaders are looking to get a head start on RIDE III ahead of the implementation of May's penny sales tax that will help pay for 20 road projects.

At Tuesday night's Horry County Council meeting, council members passed second reading of an ordinance that will appropriate up to $40 million in excess revenues collected for the completion of RIDE II road projects, and transfer that money to the RIDE III Capital Project Sales Tax project fund.

The purpose for this is to expedite the design, permitting and construction of the RIDE III project list, according to the ordinance.

It needs to pass third reading before formal adoption.

On Nov. 8, 2016, 69 percent of Horry County voters approved the RIDE III penny sales tax to fund those 20 road improvement projects.

Horry County spokesperson Lisa Bourcier said that, even though the penny sales tax takes effect in May, the county will not receive its first check for RIDE III from the state Department of Revenue until the fall.

By borrowing the $40 million from RIDE II revenues, the county can begin the design and permitting process, according to Bourcier.

She added it will take six to eight months to pay the money back to the RIDE II fund.

The RIDE III sales tax will raise $600 million in funds for such road projects as the widening of Carolina Forest Boulevard, the extension of Palmetto Pointe Boulevard to S.C. 544, intersection improvements at U.S. 17 Business in Garden City and paving 25 miles of county dirt roads, among others.

RIDE II was a similar penny sales tax that went toward such road projects as the construction of the Aynor overpass and an overpass at the Farrow Parkway and S.C. 707 intersection, otherwise known as the backgate.

That particular sales tax lasted seven years.

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