HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WBTW) – Horry County Council’s administration committee voted in favor of a resolution that would dedicate funding toward Interstate 73.
The resolution dedicates up to $4,200,000 of the county’s 1.5 % hospitality fee revenue annually for up to 30 years toward the project. That money would go toward the construction of the Horry County section of the interstate, contingent upon the commitment of adequate state funding for the project.
Chairman of the admin committee Johnny Vaught said the resolution is a big step forward.
“Because this is the first time we’ve really had money committed to the table,” Vaught said. “We’ve been trying to deal with the cities and the state and everything and everyone has been afraid to step up first. And commit some money. And we came up with this idea not knowing what the governor was going to do yesterday when he made his announcement.”
Governor McMaster was in Myrtle Beach Monday to announce his recommendation that the state dedicate $300 million toward building the interstate in Horry County.
Horry County’s resolution still needs to go before full county council, which is expected to happen at the October 19 meeting.
Vaught added the county is also working with local municipalities on funding.
“Myrtle Beach right now collects the majority of the hospitality fee,” Vaught said. “After that it’s the County and then North Myrtle Beach and so forth down the line. So whatever total we come up with that we’re going to all commit to, each municipality, county will contribute their pro rata portion of that money.”
Vaught said federal money and grants will also be critical in funding the major project.
South Carolina’s part of I-73 would run from the Rockingham/Hamlet area, into Marlboro County, and then Dillon County, before intersecting with Interstate 95, and then hitting Highway 22 in the Myrtle Beach/Conway area.
The price tag for that section is $1.3 billion, but the South Carolina Department of Transportation estimates the cost of the entire interstate is $2.3 billion.
To date, a little more than $116.6 million has been committed to I-73, $96.7 million of that is federal money.
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