Post Tagged with: "Horry County Council"

I&R Committee Hears Railroad Update

February 13, 2012 5:42 AM
I&R Committee Hears Railroad Update

The Horry County Infrastructure and Regulation Committee heard an update on the Carolina Southern Railroad last week as the railroad looks to restart service.

Carolina Southern voluntarily shut down operations August 30, 2011, after new Federal Railroad Administration regulations identified issues with bridges along the railroad’s lines.

“We have put millions of dollars into bridges over the last couple of years,” said General Manager Jason Pippin. “However, we still have issues with three strategically located bridges that are keeping us from running.”

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Open Letter to Horry County Council

February 9, 2012 3:00 AM
Open Letter to Horry County Council

The following letter was sent in e-mail form to all members of Horry County Council by an Horry County resident and taxpayer. A copy was provided to Grand Strand Daily. The author expresses his experiences through the years with applying for a job at our newest economic development incentive recipient AvCraft.

Dear Sir or Madam

My name is Andy McCormack and I have been a resident and tax payer of Horry County for 14 years, I have owned a home in Horry County for 13 years and I have 26.5 years as a skilled aircraft painter and 3.5 years of aircraft wire harness fabrication/installation experience. In 1996 I received my permanent residency visa from US immigration based on my skills and experience as an aircraft painter.

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County Employees Could See Pay Raise

February 3, 2012 8:32 AM
County Employees Could See Pay Raise

Horry County employees have not had a raise in the past three budget years, but that could change in the upcoming year. A majority of council members currently seem inclined to include an employee pay raise in the FY 2013 budget.

The county has weathered three difficult budget years and is currently running an approximately $9 million surplus in this year’s budget. It’s not that revenues are making a real comeback, it’s more that county government has significantly cut expenses over the past three years.

Much of the blame for local budget shortfall in the past three years can be laid at the feet of the state General Assembly. When Act 388 was passed in 2006, eliminating owner occupied homes from property taxes that funded school operating budgets, the state raised the sales tax one penny, promising to fund school operating costs from the state budget.

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Council Approves AvCraft Incentives

January 25, 2012 8:58 PM
Council Approves AvCraft Incentives

Horry County Council approved a $100,000 incentive package and reduced rental on three hangars at Myrtle Beach International Airport for AvCraft Technical Services, Inc., during its regular meeting Tuesday night.

The vote was 8-3 with council members Jody Prince, Carl Schwartzkopf and Marion Foxworth voting nay and council member James Frazier absent.

The incentive package calls for AvCraft to add 150 employees within the next five years. This is the first job development package introduced by the newest version of the Myrtle Beach Regional Economic Development Corporation and its CEO Brad Lofton. When Lofton was hired in April 2011, he signed a contract to produce 500 new jobs in 18 months.

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Council Votes on AvCraft Incentives Tuesday

January 23, 2012 11:13 PM
Council Votes on AvCraft Incentives Tuesday

Horry County Council will vote on approving a $100,000 incentive package and formalizing a reduced rental agreement for AvCraft Technical Services, Inc. at its regular meeting Tuesday night.

Council reconsidered the $100,000 incentive package after initially approving it for a code named company. When AvCraft was named as the recipient in late December 2011, some council members moved to reconsider the approval based on AvCraft’s past employment history.

The new incentive package calls for AvCraft to add an additional 150 jobs to its current work force, which is approximately 57 full-time employees.

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Researching Lofton

January 12, 2012 9:20 PM
Researching Lofton

In the wake of county council’s reconsideration of incentives and reduced rent to AvCraft at Tuesday night’s regular meeting of council, Brad Lofton, chief executive of the Myrtle Beach Regional Economic Development Corporation, told the Myrtle Beach Sun News other companies would be watching the treatment of AvCraft.

According to the Sun News story, Lofton said businesses that consider setting up shop in Horry County will undoubtedly research the area and see how it treats existing industry. In addition, Lofton said other prospects that MBREDC is talking to are monitoring the AvCraft situation and awaiting the outcome.

In the spirit of full disclosure, it seemed appropriate to research Lofton’s past in other locations to determine how he performed.

Photo Credit: The Myrtle Beach Digitel/Creative Commons

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Council to AvCraft “Sell Us”

January 11, 2012 9:14 AM
Council to AvCraft “Sell Us”

Mike Hill, Chief Operating Officer of AvCraft Technical Services, Inc., will have the opportunity next week to demonstrate to Horry County Council members why the county should provide economic development funds and reduced rent to his company.

Hill complained to the media last week that he ‘failed to understand why some area politicians continue to criticize his business (AvCraft) which has no financial or ownership relation to the one that failed to live up to job promises years ago.’ Now Hill has the opportunity to sell council on the idea that the present AvCraft is indeed a new company, but he will have to provide supporting documents and other information to justify that position.

Council voted 9-3 Tuesday night to hold up those funds and a new, reduced rent lease agreement until AvCraft and the Myrtle Beach Regional Economic Development Corporation (MBREDC) make a presentation to council’s Committee of the Whole (COW) on the benefits to the county of moving forward with the deal.

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AvCraft Incentive Funds on Hold

January 10, 2012 8:13 PM
AvCraft Incentive Funds on Hold

By a 9-3 vote, Horry County Council reconsidered its decision to give $100,000 of incentive development funds to AvCraft Technical Services at its regular meeting tonight. Included in the motion was a requirement for the company and the Myrtle Beach Regional Economic Development Corporation (MBREDC) to come before council’s committee of the whole next week to justify why AvCraft should receive the funds.

AvCraft was specifically requested to provide a presentation to the committee of the whole that includes its new business plan as well as justification why its current promise to provide new jobs will have a different result than its three similar promises in the past which have resulted in no new jobs. Rather than just saying it will create new jobs, AvCraft will have to prove to council members it has a solid plan to justify that position.

In addition, council voted 12-0 to delay third reading on a new lease for AvCraft. That decision will also be made after next week’s committee of the whole meeting.

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Reconsidering the AvCraft Bailout

January 8, 2012 9:52 PM
Reconsidering the AvCraft Bailout

Horry County Council could vote to reconsider the $100,000 economic development incentive package it approved at its December 13, 2011 regular meeting, according to an article published yesterday in the Myrtle Beach Sun News by reporter David Wren.

Council members voted to approve the incentive package for a code named business and did not realize the recipient was AvCraft Technical Services until publicly announced two weeks after the vote. After AvCraft was announced as the recipient in a press conference, some council members became incensed.

Since the controversy erupted, Myrtle Beach Regional Economic Development Corporation chief executive Brad Lofton and Mike Hill, Chief Operating Officer of AvCraft, have joined council chairman Tom Rice in trying to spin that the current version of AvCraft is a new company, not the same old one that has consistently failed to add new jobs to the area.

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County, Railroad Left Out of Grant Awards

December 19, 2011 6:59 PM
County, Railroad Left Out of Grant Awards

Horry County learned today that it would not be receiving any Tiger III program grant money from the U.S. Department of Transportation for the local railroad.

The county had applied for a $21 million grant from the program to help Carolina Southern Railroad upgrade its infrastructure.

According to information from the USDOT, $511 million was approved for grants today with $150 million for critical projects in rural areas. Ten percent of the total was approved for freight rail projects including the Muldraugh Bridge Replacement project in Kentucky.

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