Post Tagged with: "MBREDC"

County Council Mistake on MBREDC

September 13, 2015 5:33 AM
County Council Mistake on MBREDC

Horry County Council is about to make another mistake with regard to the MBREDC.

Council will vote Tuesday night on extending its funding contract to the Myrtle Beach Regional Economic Development Corporation for another year. This would commit the county to three more years of funding from the current two.

County council should not have agreed to a new two-year contract when considering its budget for the current fiscal year. It is making a terrible mistake extending the contract.

The excuse is a new executive director for the MBREDC, for which there is a search currently ongoing, will want a three-year contract to agree to a deal.

But, with the history of the MBREDC, not only in its current iteration, but also in all the ones that came before, county council would do better if it burned $1.1 million in the parking lot of the government center as give this agency another dime!

What it is doing here is giving away tax dollars to an agency whose only goal is to give away more tax dollars to bribe companies to relocate to Horry County.

And, it doesn’t do that well!

All we have to do is remember AvCraft, Project Blue, Ithaca Gun Company and PTR Industries to see how woeful has been the performance of MBREDC.

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MBREDC Smart Economic Planning or Insanity

August 2, 2015 5:00 AM
MBREDC Smart Economic Planning or Insanity

On July 7, 2015, the Horry County Council approved another 2-year $2.6 million contract with the MBREDC (Myrtle Beach Regional Economic Development Corporation.)

This action is probably very confusing for anyone who has followed the progress of the MBREDC over the years.

Have Horry County taxpayers received a proper return on the $1.3 million given annually to the MBRDC during the past 5 years? Certainly any prudent investor would ask about an expected return on investment before committing funds to a corporation, whether a quasi-public/private or solely private one. There is only one measure of success when it comes to investing your (the taxpayers) money and that is the return on investment. In this case the return would be measured in number of residents who got jobs per tax dollars spent.

Unfortunately (for my peace of mind and confidence in our County Council) I did some basic math. The MBREDC receives $1.3 million annually from Horry County taxpayers. The former MBREDC President Brad Lofton had announced 1,500 jobs were created by the MBREDC in Horry County during his 3 years running the agency. Oops – but it appears that half of those jobs have not been filled. Let’s do some easy math; 750 jobs at $1.3M X 3 years of taxpayer money = $5,200 per job. Oops, forgot to subtract the money owed to the county by the current occupant of the Cool Springs Business Park (paid for by taxpayer $). PTR owes $73,000 in back rent as of June. Is it now logical to add $73,000 / 3 = $24,333 to the cost per job? Well probably not, but you get the drift.

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Horry County Council Budget Failures

June 23, 2015 5:00 AM
Horry County Council Budget Failures

The latest development at MBREDC indicates how casually Horry County Council approached raising taxes this year.

Jim Moore, President and CEO of the Myrtle Beach Regional Economic Development Corporation, resigned from that agency Monday.

Moore came to MBREDC only six months ago after the three plus year dismal reign of Brad Lofton. During the four year period represented by these two, MBREDC allegedly reorganized itself with a new approach to attracting jobs to Horry County.

Neither Moore nor Lofton was any more successful in economic development recruitment than the former iteration of MBREDC or Partners Economic Development Corporation before it.

The difference is the current four year MBREDC 2.0 has been receiving serious funding from Horry County Council, between $1.3 million to $1.8 million per year of taxpayer dollars, with little to nothing to show for it.

Think of AvCraft, Project Blue and PTR Industries as the poster children of MBREDC efforts.

Over the past five county budget cycles, MBREDC has received at least $7.5 million from Horry County Council to fund its few employees and other operational costs.

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Star Tek Problem Highlights Economic Development Shortcomings

October 3, 2014 1:00 PM
Star Tek Problem Highlights Economic Development Shortcomings

The situation at Star Tek does not appear to be exactly what came to light yesterday.

According to several sources with knowledge of Star Tek, the new local operation was not a startup. Instead, its roots lay in Jonesboro, Arkansas.

According to the information we have received:

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Horry County Council Oversight Inconsistent

September 28, 2013 8:00 AM
Horry County Council Oversight Inconsistent

The specter of further contretemps between Horry County Council and the Coast RTA board over appointment power to that board appears to be looming in the not too distant future.

Horry County provides approximately 50% of the total amount of state and local grants to the transit authority ($1.06 million of an approximate $2 million total). Those grants are matched 50-50 by the federal government to provide most of the Coast RTA operating budget.

Fourth quarter FY 2014 funds were only recently released to Coast RTA by county council. But, if information sources are providing to us proves accurate, the real showdown will come when next year’s budget is discussed.

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Disparity in Treatment – Coast RTA vs. MBREDC

August 16, 2013 9:00 AM
Disparity in Treatment – Coast RTA vs. MBREDC

Watching the last several months of county council deliberations, one must wonder why there is such disparate treatment between Coast RTA and the Myrtle Beach Regional Economic Development Corporation by our elected officials.

The MBREDC was at county council Tuesday night pushing its $60 million, 15 year funding proposal with a presentation on how the money would be used to try to entice businesses to the area.

A resolution to restore Coast RTA’s FY 2014 fourth quarter funding was pulled off the county council agenda.

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Coast RTA vs. MBREDC Funding

July 24, 2013 9:00 AM
Coast RTA vs. MBREDC Funding

While attending a meeting with several Coast RTA officials nearly a month ago, I was asked several times if I had an explanation for why funding from Horry County for Coast RTA is treated differently than funding for the Myrtle Beach Regional Economic Development Corporation.

I had no other answer than the potential political clout of MBREDC board members compared to that of Coast RTA board members.

In the current fiscal year budget, Coast RTA is budgeted to receive $1.055 million from Horry County with some questions remaining about the upcoming May 1, 2014 fourth quarter payment of approximately $263,000.

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Election Filing Mess Leads 2012 Stories

December 31, 2012 9:00 AM
Election Filing Mess Leads 2012 Stories

As we look back on the news of 2012, the top story in South Carolina this year was the election filing mess that kept nearly 300 candidates off the ballot.

Most candidates affected were challengers to incumbent Republicans, although many Democrats got left off too, in the June primary. They were ineligible to be certified as candidates because the state and local Republican and Democratic parties did not understand, and did not make allowance for, a minor change in state law that required electronic filing of the candidates’ Statement of Economic Interests.

The party leaders never saw it coming and they blew it. I don’t believe it was a big conspiracy to keep new candidates off the ballot. Some newcomers did file properly and did get certified, too few for a real democratic process, however.

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The Checkered Past of David L. Rocker

October 11, 2012 8:00 PM
The Checkered Past of David L. Rocker

Additional revelations about David Rocker, Chief Operating Officer of Covation, the company associated with the Myrtle Beach Regional Economic Development Authority’s embattled Project Blue, reached Grand Strand Daily in the last several days.

Project Blue ran into trouble a month ago when myhorrynews.com and the Myrtle Beach Herald broke several stories about Rocker’s criminal history, which includes a tax fraud conviction, jail sentence and continuing tax liens.

Among other facts, the stories outlined a Klein conspiracy where corporate receipts from National Capital Group, Inc., an alleged investment entity run by Rocker, were diverted to other bank accounts for Rocker’s personal use. Additionally, a trust account in an ABN AMRO Bank branch in Canada is mentioned.

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Santee Cooper, Corp. Welfare and Rising Rates

September 23, 2012 10:00 PM
Santee Cooper, Corp. Welfare and Rising Rates

Santee Cooper and 20 associated electric coops in the state are providing economic development cash and rate cuts while raising the rates on current customers.

The electric company’s board recently approved rate hikes of 3.5 percent per year for the next two years for its residential, commercial, industrial and municipal customers. This on top of a rate increase in 2010, which brings the total increase into double digits.

At the same time, Santee Cooper provides tens of thousands of dollars in economic development incentives and up to a 20 percent rate reduction for new or expanding companies.

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