Editorial: County Council Did The Right Thing

The Dillon County Council was right last week when a majority of its members decided not to go along with a resolution in support of I-73.
A motion was made to pass the resolution, but died due to lack of a second. (See story on page 2)
County Council Chairman Archie Scott said that I-73 was going to be a good thing, but the question is for who?
It’s going to be a wonderful thing for Myrtle Beach as it shuttles people down to the Grand Strand where they will spend their money which will only cause the beach to continue to grow and grow.
It could be a good thing for Marlboro and Marion Counties where interchanges will be located. They might pick up a couple of truck stops, convenience stores or fast food restaurants like Oak Grove did nearly 20 years after I-95 came through, but they could have a long wait.
However, it’s difficult to see how it is going to be a good thing for Dillon County. Dillon County will simply be a “pass-through” county on the way to the beach, and with no interchange, we won’t be picking up any more of the above-mentioned truck stops, convenience stores or fast food restaurants.
Tourists, who are generally anxious to get to their destinations, are not going to get off at Marion or in Marlboro County and head to Latta or Dillon County, and anyone who thinks that they will are just fooling themselves.
In addition, many travelers, who typically take Highway No. 9 to the beach and patronize some of Dillon’s businesses, will likely just shoot on down to I-73 bypassing Dillon altogether. It will not take long after I-73 is built and opened to see the negative financial impact that it will create for Dillon.
A negative impact may be seen in another way as well. A great deal of traffic will likely be on I-73 when it is opened. Accidents happen, and wrecks will likely be unavoidable. These accidents will have to be answered by Dillon County emergency crews, which will overwhelm staff and stretch limited resources even more thin than they are now.
One I-73 advocate said that I-73 will create a number of construction jobs for Dillon County; however, these jobs will be temporary, and there are no guarantees that these jobs will go to Dillon County citizens or that the companies who will be building I-73 will even give Dillon County citizens preference.
If other counties want Dillon County’s support for I-73, then they should go to the table and demand that Dillon County get an interchange as well.
Dillon County Council was correct in not passing a resolution or supporting a project that will not benefit Dillon County. We should get something too. Just because the founding fathers of I-73 have chosen to treat Dillon County as second class citizens and give them nothing in regards to the I-73 project doesn’t mean we have to accept it. It doesn’t mean we have to be happy about it, and it certainly doesn’t mean we have to support it. The Dillon County Council was right, and they did the right thing.