HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WBTW) — Horry County Council passed the third and final reading for Tidelands Health’s new Carolina Bays Hospital Tuesday with no public or council discussion, but the opposite happened for the second reading and public hearing for Conway Medical Center’s proposed hospital.
Conway Medical Center’s proposed hospital on International Drive would have 50 beds and offer a full range of services. Some neighbors said they’re for the building of the hospital in the area, while many spoke against it, saying the area has controlled burns, a wetland mitigation bank, flooding, and wildlife.
“Any development on this site could change the hydrolligy of the area and lead to additional flooding on International Drive,” one resident with the Coastal Conservation League said. “Even just having a building there could potentially increase flooding.”
“I know it was mentioned we might not care about the woodpecker when we’re trying to get the hospital,” a Waccamaw river keeper said. “I’m still going to care and I don’t think it’s mutually exclusive. I think we can care about both things.”
Council members expressed concerns as well but said they’ve worked with Conway Medical Center to address all concerns.
“We’re not gonna allow — Conway Medical Center’s not going to interfere with our plans for mitigation and they’re not going to interfere with our plans for controlled burning — none of that’s going to happen,” said Johnny Vaught, councilmember for district 8. “We worked all this out through development agreement, we met with the people at the farm that had concerns about the buildings being too close to them.”
“They are building this hospital to make sure they can handle those issues,” said Bill Howard, councilmember for district 2.
The plan for the new Conway Medical Center hospital will now move to a third reading.
At Tuesday’s meeting, council also passed the second reading and public hearing to adopt revised flood damage prevention standards. By passing, it would approve better flood protection measures.
Council also passed the second reading of the Impact Fee Act, which would “require payment of impact fees for parks and recreation facilities, public safety facilities, transportation facilities, solid waste facilities, and storm water facilities to offset the proportionate demand for these public facilities created by new development.”