CONWAY, S.C. (WBTW) — The city of Conway, known for being a quieter place, is becoming bigger and more vibrant, and the two candidates for mayor in Tuesday’s election each have their opinions on how to address growth and development.

Incumbent Mayor Barbara Blain-Bellamy and challenger Ken Richardson both share a love for the city while also acknowledging that growth is inevitable.

Richardson, a former Horry County Schools chairman, said people appreciate the small-town feel of the city.

“The current mayor made a comment the other day that she moved Conway from being a sleepy little river town,” Richardson said. “Well, I’m going to be honest with you, a lot of people like that sleepy little river town.”

Bellamy said Conway is in a unique position.

“Conway is sitting in the center of what everybody wants,” she said. “People across our nation seek a place where the climate is friendly, where peoples’ lives are uncluttered and where they are safe, where living is calm and easy.”

With recent growth comes more growth, including a proposal to annex nearly 1,600 acres into the city that would lead to hundreds of new homes.

“I say that we don’t have control over new development and whether it’s 25 homes or 3,500 new residences, they are coming, and it behooves us to make sure they come under the watchful eye of an entity of the city of Conway who is going to require certain standards be kept in the development,” Bellamy said.

Richardson said the city can’t handle the growth all on its own.

“You are not going to fix infrastructure, you are not going to fix flooding, and you are not going to fix some of the other problems Conway has,” he said. “If you think you are going to do it in a municipality, you have to have state and federal come and help you. I believe if I call the governor today and the current mayor calls the governor today, I think I can tell you who would get a phone call back quicker.”

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Adriana Cotero is News13’s weekend evening anchor and a morning reporter. She joined the team in July 2023 after working in the island of Guam. Adriana is from Saline, Michigan, and graduated from Central Michigan University. Follow Adriana on Facebook, X, formerly Twitter, and Instagram and read more of her work here