Horry County calls special meeting on future of I-73 project

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CONWAY, SC (WBTW) – Horry County Council has called a special meeting where they will discuss the future of the I-73 project.

According to Councilman Johnny Vaught and a county meeting schedule, the meeting is scheduled for Wednesday at 2 p.m. Two items are on expected to be discussed in executive session; the court battle over the hospitality fee and a SCDOT financial participation agreement pertaining to the I-73 project.

After the executive session, the council is expected to only vote on the SCDOT agreement.

County leaders have not approved the agreement for work involving I-73 due to the ongoing court battle over local hospitality tax fees, Vaught said. The fees are needed to help fund I-73 project work.

Horry County asked SCDOT for an extension to allow it time to work on the pending hospitality tax lawsuit and find a resolution with local municipalities over the issue. SCDOT is only allowing the county to postpone approving the agreement until October 1.

A 30-day cancellation clause is in the contract, and if the county wants to cancel the agreement, Vaught says it must notify the agency by September 1.

Vaught tells us the financial participation agreement was for the first $12 million for a study towards SC-22 and the acquisition of right-of-ways.

Vaught says that ideally, the county wanted to try and postpone the approval until January to give as much time as possible to resolve the hospitality tax fight. But that was not possible.

“We have no choice but to cancel the contract.” Vaught believes.

Count on News13 for updates on this story.

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