By Betsy Finklea
The Dillon County Council did not pass an I-73 support resolution that was presented to them at their regular council meeting last week.
The resolution as presented stated:
COUNTY OF HORRY
COUNTY OF MARION
COUNTY OF DILLON
STATE OF SOUTH
A JOINT RESOLUTION BETWEEN THE SOUTH CAROLINA COUNTIES OF HORRY, MARION, AND DILLON TO EXPRESS MULTI-GOVERNMENTAL UNITY IN SUPPORT OF I-73 AND THE POSITIVE AND COMMON CONTRIBUTIONS THE INTERSTATE HIGHWAY WILL HAVE ON THE ECONOMY, JOB CREATION, AND QUALITY OF LIFE IN THE REPRESENTED COMMUNITIES.
WHEREAS, recent studies published by Chmura Economics & Analytics and Coastal Carolina Research Economist Dr. Don Schunk illustrate positive impacts I-73 will have on vital aspects of citizens and businesses within the proposed construction corridor, and
WHEREAS, the greatly detailed and expert analyses reach an obvious and unavoidable conclusion: citizens, employers and employees, businesses and industry, and school systems will benefit, and the general quality of life in our area will improve, as a result of the investments in and around the I-73 project, and
WHEREAS, the economies of the Counties of Horry, Marion, and Dillon, have suffered from high unemployment rates, the lack of, not only jobs, but also the lack of high-paying and high-tech jobs, per capita income rates well below state and national averages, and in sections of the region, stagnant population growth, and
WHEREAS, the lack of transportation infrastructure such as I-73 has historically contributed to losses of industry to neighboring states or regions of South Carolina, the slow erosion of the tax base due to the shuttering of local businesses, resulting in spiraling reductions in available jobs and an increased need for government services and aid, and further, contributing to the persistent lack of resources for local schools including the crumbling 110 year-old J.V. Martin Middle School which has our home being internationally pronounced as the “Corridor of Shame” by the President of the United States, and
WHEREAS, it is the firm belief that uniform support of the I-73 project by the Councils of these Counties is of direct benefit of our citizens, employees, businesses, and students.
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the County Councils of Horry, Marion, and Dillon hereby expresses mutual inter-governmental support of the I-73 project as proposed.
Dillon County Council Chairman Archie Scott said that last month he met with the Marion County Council Chairman and the Horry County Council Chairman who wanted the Dillon County Council to sign a joint resolution in support of I-73. Scott said he thought it was a good thing and would be a good thing for them to do. He said he thought it would be a good thing for economic development and a good thing in general.
Councilman Harold Moody said he did not know why the resolution mentioned the “Corridor of Shame.” He said he did not think the resolution should mention it.
It was noted that Horry and Marion Counties had passed the resolution.
Councilman Aron Gandy said that I-73 was only going to be a direct route to Myrtle Beach and blocked out Dillon County completely due to lack of an interchange.
He said Marlboro County and Marion County both got interchanges where people can get off and Dillon County should have gotten one also. He said Dillon County needs some help on this.
Councilman Joe Johnson said it is evident that Dillon County can’t stop I-73, but he agreed with Harold Moody. He said he had a problem with the paragraph about the “Corridor of Shame,” and he didn’t know why it was there to start with. He said he wondered how much I-73 was going to bring to Dillon County.
Scott said they received a great deal of national attention due to the “Corridor of Shame” and that was something that was out of this council’s hands.
Councilman Macio Williamson said whether they pass it or not, it was not going to stop I-73 so they need to go ahead and support it.
Councilman Bobby Moody said they can’t stop it, but it was not going to do anything for Dillon County so he didn’t think they should support it.
Scott called for a motion. Williamson made the motion. The motion died due to lack of a second.