HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WBTW) — Horry County council members hope to pass a resolution to help fund the building of Interstate 73.
In a committee meeting on Tuesday, council members will discuss a resolution that would collect $4.2 million from the county’s 1.5% percent hospitality fee, over the course of 30 years, to help fund the building of I-73.
“I think our tourism will benefit from it. I think our industry can benefit from it,” councilman Johnny Vaught said. Vaught is in favor of the resolution for the I-73 project.
But Vice-Chairman Dennis DiSabato, who is spearheading the discussion on Tuesday, said the county can’t fund the project alone. “The other municipalities, if in agreement, will all come to the table to fund the balance,” DiSabato said.
The county also hopes to receive additional funding from the South Carolina Department of Transportation.
DiSabato said Monday, I-73 would create emergency evacuation routes, more jobs, and increase tax revenue. While in support of the project, Vaught said infrastructure repairs along Highway 90 are most important.
“We cannot forget our local people,” Vaught said. “You know, if we get the people in here and they cannot move around within the county, then it doesn’t make sense to bring more people in does it?” he asked.
Construction projects along Highway 90, Vaught said, will help flood victims and reduce traffic delays.
Out of the five councilmembers, News13 heard back from, four of them were in support of the I-73 resolution, but said construction on existing highways is just important.
“I think there are things that we can do to address Highway 90 without jeopardizing I-73 and that’s my goal,” said DiSabato.
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, more than $116.6 million has been committed to I-73, $96.7 million of that is federal money.