Post Tagged with: "Myrtle Beach Regional Economic Development Corporation"

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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A Lesson from the AvCraft Experience

March 1, 2015 8:00 AM
A Lesson from the AvCraft Experience

The final curtain is coming down on AvCraft Technical Services in a couple of weeks leaving behind an important political lesson that will soon be forgotten.

That lesson? Never, never, never believe a politician’s (or their associates’) claims about economic development and/or job creation.

AvCraft was first introduced to Horry County in 2003 by, then, Horry County Council candidate Joe DeFeo.

AvCraft had just forfeited economic development incentive payments for failing to reach job creation promises at its location in Tyler, Texas and was looking for fresh government dollars. DeFeo was looking for an issue that could help him win election to Horry County Council District Three.

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A Christmas Gift for AvCraft?

December 10, 2014 6:00 AM
A Christmas Gift for AvCraft?

It’s two weeks til Christmas and Horry County Council is in the gift giving mood to AvCraft again.

This is an act that plays in December almost as regularly as “A Christmas Story.”

And every time it plays it provides another lesson about everything that is wrong with the concept of giving incentives to companies in the name of economic development.

What it really boils down to is corporate welfare.

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Horry County Budget Workshop Next Week

November 7, 2014 7:00 AM
Horry County Budget Workshop Next Week

Horry County Council will begin deliberations for its FY 2016 Horry County budget next Friday at a workshop and specially called council meeting.

Now that elections are over and several new council members are poised to join the governing body in the new year, we will see just how “conservative” our heavily Republican contingent on council really is.

My guess is the cronyism that has justified what I consider wasteful council spending in certain areas will continue to manifest itself.

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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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Star Tek Loses Contract, Is Horry Job Creation Impacted?

October 2, 2014 5:47 PM
Star Tek Loses Contract, Is Horry Job Creation Impacted?

Another of the Myrtle Beach Regional Economic Development Corporation’s supposed star job catches appears to be experiencing difficulties, according to sources familiar with recent developments at Star Tek.

A customer service call center, Star Tek was expected to create approximately 665 new jobs in Horry County over a three year period.

However, according to several sources familiar with recent developments, current Star Tek employees received an email last evening saying Star Tek had lost its contract with Direct TV and all current employees were to report to Human Relations today for interviews.

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No Tax Referendums for Horry County

August 12, 2014 7:22 AM
No Tax Referendums for Horry County

Horry County voters will have no advisory referendums on the November 2014 general election ballot asking for additional taxes to be levied on county residents.

Last week it looked as if Horry County voters would get to register their advice on whether to raise millage to help fund the Waccamaw Center for Mental Health services.

The Waccamaw Center for Mental Health is a state designated agency that is underfunded by the General Assembly.

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Time for Horry County Council to Review EDC Funding

July 24, 2014 7:35 AM
Time for Horry County Council to Review EDC Funding

Before the Myrtle Beach Regional Economic Development Corporation gets too involved in a search for a new CEO, Horry County Council should take a hard look at its funding of the agency.

Despite new names, reorganizations of the agency and increased funding from county council, there have been relatively few actual new jobs created over the last 20 years.

The Horry County Administration Committee is expected to receive its quarterly jobs update from the county’s grant administration department at its August 1, 2014 meeting. This will be a tally, by company, of the number of new jobs created, not announced or promised, but actual people drawing paychecks since departing EDC CEO Brad Lofton was first hired in April 2011.

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Coast RTA Funding Agreement Far Exceeds Special Committee Recommendations

June 5, 2014 8:15 AM
Coast RTA Funding Agreement Far Exceeds Special Committee Recommendations

Horry County has apparently found a way to exert the influence it desires over Coast RTA decisions with a proposed funding agreement between the county and the bus agency.

After failing for the last two years to have its membership on the Coast RTA board increased, the county will now have the ability to virtually dictate decisions to the Coast RTA board if the new funding agreement is approved by both sides.

The funding agreement goes far beyond recommendations made by a Special Committee on Coast RTA appointed by Horry County Council Chairman Mark Lazarus. The committee deliberated through four sessions before approving a report to Horry County Council that recommended continuing funding for the agency.

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Horry County Council and Fiduciary Responsibility

March 7, 2014 10:00 AM
Horry County Council and Fiduciary Responsibility

I have heard much recently about how Horry County Council was exercising its fiduciary responsibility, overseeing the use of public money, by appointing an ad hoc committee to report on Coast RTA.

I always get a funny feeling when I hear ‘fiduciary responsibility’ from public officials because it’s usually a dodge for some other agenda.

The recent cancelling of a contract for signs and bus shelters by SCDOT and the possibility that Coast RTA may be required to pay back money already spent on the project is the alleged reason the ad hoc committee will be looking into how effectively Coast RTA spends its public dollar grants.

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