Public Safety departments propose enhancements at Horry County Council budget retreat

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HORRY COUNTY, SC (WBTW) — After postposing due to COVID, Horry County Council held their Fall budget retreat Friday to discuss the needs of the county.

The projected Capital Budget Funding for the fiscal year 2022 is $69,590,811 dollars.

Image Courtesy Horry County Council

With the proposed budget, public safety departments presented their service enhancement requests for fiscal year 2022.

Some requests include the hiring of 21 detention correction officers at J. Reuben Long, hiring 5 patrol officers, the purchase of 4 EMS ambulances, the hiring of 16 EMS paramedics, the hiring of 12 EMS EMTs, and the hiring of the county’s own Coroner Pathologist.

General Fund – Public Safety Division Enhancements

  • Police – Patrol Officer (5) – $872,861 (Initial Hire)
  • Police – DVI Grant Absorption (2) – $150,542
  • Coroner – Deputy Coroner (2) – $226,960
  • Coroner – Pathologist – $371,715 (Initial Hire)
  • Coroner – Pathology Assistant $55,696
  • Detention – Correction Officers (21) – $1,338,321 $1,266,291
  • EMS – Ambulance & Equipment (4) – $1,370,226
  • EMS – Paramedic (16) – $1,425,141
  • EMS – EMT(12) – $944,810

Total Public Safety enhancements: $8,058,175.

Not all enhancement requests are in the above list. The full list can be found here.

Council discussed today how they’re no longer able to use the pathologist’s services at Grand Strand Regional Medical Center. As of now, all autopsies are performed at MUSC but some council members discussed how it takes too long to get results back that way. They said having one in the county, would be highly beneficial.

“I think we’ll find ourselves in a true rock and a hard place moving forward, obviously because of growth of the county, there’s also growth as a problem as well,” Randy Webster, the Horry County Emergency Management Director said.

Council mentioned with the growth of the county, there’s a need for more enhancements saying that “People are still moving here every day.”

Council also discussed the county’s capital improvement plan through the fiscal year 2031. Some requests include fencing around the ML Brown building and the addition of a police firing range.

Public Safety Facilities

  • ML Brown Gate and Fencing $150,000 FY2022
  • Police Firing Range $2,000,000 FY2022
  • Historical Courthouse Rehab $4,950,000 FY2023
  • ML Brown Complex Roof $1,050,000 FY2023
  • JP Stevens Building Rehab $3,000,000 FY2023
  • Public Safety Training Facility $1,800,000 FY2025
  • J. Reuben Long 128 Bed Annex $9,097,550 FY2025
  • JRL Bow Tie Building Rehab $22,300,000 FY2027
  • Animal Care Center Expansion $2,747,189 FY2027
  • ML Brown Complex Rehab $6,600,000 FY2029

The budget will be voted on and approved by Horry County Council within the next few days. To look at the full budget visit their website here.

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