Post Tagged with: "infrastructure"

Impact Fees Wrong Solution for Horry County Council

December 3, 2017 5:27 AM
Impact Fees Wrong Solution for Horry County Council

An old issue has again surfaced as Horry County Council is reportedly looking at ways to change the state impact fee law to help pay for the costs of development.

Twelve to twenty or so years ago this was a recurring issue council routinely discussed until it became apparent nothing would change in Columbia.

That discussion was interrupted by the collapse of the mortgage market and resulting depression which began in 2008 and which, now, the housing market appears to be finally recovering from.

The current impact fee law was effectively written to ensure impact fees would not be levied in Horry County. A primary sponsor on that piece of legislation was Horry County’s own Sen. Luke Rankin.

The builders, real estate agents and their attorneys do not want impact fees in Horry County and their lobby in Columbia has been strong enough, to date, to stop them.

New construction creates increased costs to provide local government infrastructure and services. Impact fees theoretically have those costs initially paid for by the new residents. Without impact fees, those costs are spread among all residents throughout the county.

Further limiting the ability of local government to meet the costs of providing new, as well as maintaining existing, infrastructure and services is the infamous Act 388 of 2006, which was vigorously supported by our county legislative delegation.

Much of the blame for any shortage of police officers, fire and emergency services, roads and other infrastructure lies directly at the feet of those we have been sending to Columbia over the years.

However, by looking to effect changes in the impact fee law, Horry County Council is also being shortsighted.

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Our State Legislators and Tax Increases

December 7, 2016 4:41 AM
Our State Legislators and Tax Increases

Horry & Georgetown Republican elected state legislators are behaving more like Chicken Little than responsible problem solvers.

We may be a Red State, but our Horry & Georgetown elected Republican state legislators still act like tax and spend Democrats. This is somewhat surprising after the message that was just sent to the “ruling class” during this past general election. Donald Trump received more primary votes than just about every Republican candidate running prior to his bid for the presidency. The populace is definitely tired of tax and spend Republicans and the establishment Republican Party. Evidently our local elected Republicans did not get the message.

No one would argue against coming up with a plan to fix South Carolina roads as they are in desperate need of repair. However, the current knee jerk reaction (the sky is falling, the sky is falling, raise taxes!), is not the responsible course of action. In manufacturing and other successful business entities, when a problem is identified, the company initiates a formal corrective action process. This process begins by clearly defining the problem and then doing the necessary homework to identify root causes of the problem. Future containment actions and corrective actions stem from the root cause analysis.

Numerous organizations within South Carolina and some responsible Republican office holders have identified the primary root causes to South Carolina’s bad roads. These root causes fall into the following categories:

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Realtors Support Devon Blackwell

June 9, 2016 5:48 AM
Realtors Support Devon Blackwell

Horry County Council District 10 candidate Devon Blackwell secured the support of the Coastal Carolinas Association of Realtors last week.

Each election cycle, CCAR interviews candidates and announces support with a letter and campaign contribution for various local and state candidates.

CCAR chose Devon Blackwell as the candidate it is supporting in the Horry County Council District 10 Republican Primary.

“I am very proud of being chosen by the association of realtors,” Blackwell said.

Blackwell said District 10 is the largest council district in area in Horry County. He understands the needs of different neighborhoods within the district will differ. He said he will be responsive to all his constituents to meet their needs.

Blackwell supports infrastructure improvements, especially roads and drainage, throughout District 10. He also said he supports reviewing the many regulations on small business to make sure the county is not being hindering the opportunities for small businesses to be successful.

Blackwell said his approach to spending public money will be guided by the question “would you spend your own money for this?”

Blackwell’s opponent in the primary is Danny Hardee, a long time businessman in the Mt. Vernon community in District 10, but who appears to have his primary residence at the Floral Lake subdivision in Surfside Beach, which is not in District 10.

Hardee’s campaign touts his service on the now defunct Horry County Airport Advisory Board and Horry County Solid Waste Authority Board.

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Dennis DiSabato Announces for Horry County District 3

March 4, 2016 7:18 AM
Dennis DiSabato Announces for Horry County District 3

Dennis DiSabato announced recently that he is a candidate for the Republican nomination for Horry County Council District 3.

DiSabato is a 2000 graduate of the State University of New York Binghamton and graduated with a Juris Doctor degree from New York Law School in 2004. He is a member of the bar in New York, New Jersey and South Carolina.

DiSabato moved to Carolina Forest in 2006, currently residing with his wife Laura DiSabato in the Sawgrass East community. He operates a law office on Renee Drive in the Carolina Forest area, focusing on residential and commercial real estate transactions, real estate and commercial litigation and estate planning.

Since moving to Horry County, DiSabato has been active in local issues. He is a founding member of the Carolina Forest Civic Association, serving as that organization’s president from 2010-2012 and 2013-2014.

DiSabato is a graduate of Leadership Grand Strand Class XXIX, a member of the Coastal Carolina Sertoma Club having served as that organization’s president from 2008-2012. He is also a member of the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce and is a founder and past president of Horry County Citizens for Responsible Government.

DiSabato said infrastructure issues will be one area of focus if he is elected to serve the citizens of District 3.

“Revitalization of the downtown and south end areas of Myrtle Beach to bring jobs and businesses back into that area is important,” DiSabato said. “In the Carolina Forest area, road issues, especially widening of Carolina Forest Boulevard are important needs.”

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Déjà vu for SC General Assembly

December 29, 2015 5:17 AM
Déjà vu for SC General Assembly

In November 2014, when everyone was talking about the upcoming SC General Assembly legislative session, three big topics were at the fore, ethics reform, transportation maintenance and repair funding and education funding.

One year later, as preparations are made for the second session of the 121st General Assembly, those three topics are still waiting to be addressed.

Real ethics reform falls into three areas – disclosure of all sources of income for members and their immediate families, disclosure of donor sources in these currently anonymous PACs and an independent process for ethics violation investigations.

Under our current ethics system, the House and Senate have ethics committees that essentially do nothing, and the SC Ethics Commission, which covers all other public officials throughout the state, specializes in collecting fines for late filing of disclosure documents.

All three areas have strong resistance, especially in the Senate, so expect another year where ethics is talked about much and accomplished not at all.

In the area of transportation maintenance and repair or general infrastructure funding, one lesson should have been learned with the floods of October – you can only ignore maintenance and repair of necessary infrastructure for so long.

When old, neglected infrastructure is hit with unusual conditions, it will fail. Some of the flood damage we saw would have happened anyway, but dams failing, bridges collapsing and roads washing out were as much a consequence of neglect as it was from the storm.

School funding, or rather equitable funding for poor, rural school districts is a subject that has been effectively dodged in one way or another since the Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court decision of 1954.

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SC Republican Leader Seeks Infrastructure Debate

May 27, 2015 8:08 PM
REPUBLICAN MAJORITY LEADER SEEKS ROAD DEBATE

COLUMBIA, S.C. – In an attempt to address the State’s pressing highway infrastructure issue, Senate Majority Leader Harvey Peeler moved to deviate from the Order of business in the S.C. Senate to consider the roads bill. There were several attempts to prevent that motion by members of the democratic caucus, despite earlier statements that roads were their priority. However Senator Peeler’s motion prevailed stopping the current filibuster for the day. By doing so, the Senate gave third reading to the Pain Capable Bill, which would prohibit abortions after 20 weeks and began debate on the much anticipated bill regarding highway infrastructure.

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S.C. General Assembly Up to Old Tricks

February 10, 2015 6:08 AM
S.C. General Assembly Up to Old Tricks

With pressing needs on infrastructure, education and ethics, the S.C. General Assembly is instead focusing on how to negatively affect local governments.

H3374, which was passed favorably out of a House Ways and Means subcommittee last week, would further shift the costs of providing state services onto the backs of local government. It is expected to be considered in the full House Ways and Means Committee as early as this week.

The bill effectively makes additional cuts to the local government fund, the fund which transfers money from the state to local governments to cover the cost state services at the county levels.

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