I-73, Action Plans Taken Up By Dillon County Public-Private Partnership

Several matters were discussed at the Dillon County Public-Private Partnership’s May meeting.
I-73 was one of the topics discussed. The board funded Linda Hayes’ trip to Washington on I-73.
Board member Charles Vance said he felt it was an unnecessary trip since everything had been decided and feels that this kind of expense will make fundraising for the board more difficult. In his opinion, Vance said, I-73 will not help Dillon County.
Board chair Doug Miller asked Hayes to tell them how their $1,000 was spent to benefit them. Hayes said there is 80 miles to build in South Carolina. The state has $110 million to build 10 miles through Dillon County. Over 300 permits have been given.
If all permits are approved, then in one year, all $110 million will be used in moving dirt, etc. This could create 7,700 jobs for construction each year. Bingham, Oak Grove, and Mallory will benefit, but maybe not Dillon.
She said since I-95 had come through Oak Grove, they now have truck stops, McDonald’s, etc. offering many jobs.
She said under www.I-73.com, one can see the benefits being paid.
The board’s money was also discussed. Salley Huggins-McIntyre asked for an accounting of the monies spent since the new board took over. Charles McLaurin informed her that this would be done. Economic Developer Tonny McNeil was asked if he could provide a list of expenditures. He informed them that the board cannot spend from his funds. He said his budget from the county would not be controlled by the board.
The board received action plan updates on the spec building, Carolina Mega site options and infrastructure, and the work towards establishing a 501(c)3.
The plans are to build a spec building of 50,000 sq.ft. expandable to 100,000 sq.ft. at a cost of $1.5 to $3 million. The location would be south of the existing Harbor Freight facility. Funding sources would be Dillon, Marion and Marlboro counties, the Department of Commerce, electric utilities, other utilities and other municipalities. Should this proceed, the spec building could be completed by May 2012.
McNeil reported that they were trying to extend the option at the megasite for an additional five years bringing the total to seven years. Without a long-term option, they will not add infrastructure.
When the 501(c)3 certification is received, the board can begin raising money. They can receive money now, but it will not be tax deductible until they receive the certification.
A roundtable discussion was also held before the meeting was adjourned.

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