MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — State funding based on U.S. Census data supports the substantial growth seen in the News13 viewing area.
Horry County is one of 11 counties in the state to receive more state funding thanks to the growth.
The future of healthcare, infrastructure, housing, and education relies on data collected by the U.S. Census. From 2010 to 2020, South Carolina’s population grew 10.7%.
Horry County saw a much faster growth rate, which allows the county to receive $2.1 million.
“We will use those funds to the best of our ability as far as the most identifiable needs we can come up with,” Horry County councilman Johnny Vaught said.
Vaught said the funding could be used to support environmental needs like improving recycling centers and public safety.
“The census grew enough this time so that we’re getting an increase coming back,”Vaught said. “Whereas, some other counties who either didn’t grow or who fell back somewhat in the census will be getting less monies.”
Florence is one of those counties that will lose $590,000 even though council members deny a drop a population.
“We’ve actually seen a pretty significant amount of growth. A lot of residential development going around the city of Florence itself,” Florence County councilman Jason Springs said.
Springs blames COVID-19 for the lack of participation in completing the 2020 census data.
Thankfully, the Rural County Stabilization Fund recently enforced by state legislatures will keep county employees and maintain public safety needs.
“Because of this Rural County Stabilization Fund, this will allow us to bring in about $500,000 to make up that gap. So, instead of being $590,000 short, we’re looking at $90,000 short for Florence County,” Springs said.
Without the fund, Springs said county employees would have been laid off.
“Florence County is very thankful for the gracious and the foresight our state House representatives and the rest of our legislature,” Springs said.
“Had they not put this Rural County Stabilization Fund into place we would be in much more dire states here in Florence County, and we’d be having to make some real important decisions,” Springs said.
As for Horry County, it plans to use the funding where it is most needed. How it will be used is expected to be discussed in upcoming council meetings.