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

Tinubu Hits Rice on Project Blue

November 3, 2012 11:00 AM
Tinubu Hits Rice on Project Blue

At a press conference yesterday, Seventh Congressional District Democratic candidate Gloria Bromell Tinubu charged Republican opponent Tom Rice with crony capitalism for his support of the Myrtle Beach Regional Economic Development Corporation’s notorious Project Blue initiative.

Tinubu pointed to deals benefiting EDC board members and Rice contributors associated with the project which purports to have a startup business called Covation bring a 1,000 job call center to Horry County.

At the heart of Tinubu’s charges are the $24-$30 million public dollars incentives for a project with a brand new company whose details have been kept out of public view through a series of county council “executive sessions” to discuss the project.

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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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Revelations Rock(er) Project Blue

September 21, 2012 11:00 AM
Revelations Rock(er) Project Blue

New revelations this week about Covation LLC COO David Rocker’s criminal past brought further questions to the viability of the Myrtle Beach Regional Economic Development Corporation’s now infamous Project Blue.

Among other revelations, Rocker failed to file income tax returns for 14 consecutive years while participating in a Klein conspiracy to interfere with the lawful government functions of the IRS.

This new information comes to light as the EDC is lobbying for third reading approval, by county council, of an ordinance that would approve the issuance of $8 million in county general obligation debt as part of an estimated overall $24 million incentive package.

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David L. Rocker and Project Blue

August 28, 2012 9:12 AM
David L. Rocker and Project Blue

The real reason for the big secret called Project Blue by the Myrtle Beach Regional Economic Development Corporation may have surfaced Monday when myhorrynews.com, the website for Waccamaw Publishers, broke a story on the shady past of David L. Rocker.

According to documents provided to Horry County Council, Rocker is listed as the Chief Operating Officer of Covation Holdings, a startup Georgia company that is trying to land a call center jobs project in the Carolina Forest area. However, last night the EDC was trying to spin Rocker as merely a consultant on the project.

Whatever the truth is behind Rocker’s participation, his past difficulties should raise some eyebrows about whether the county should be risking public dollars on a project which has, so far, been much hype with very little substance.

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Economic Development Secret Revealed

August 6, 2012 1:55 PM
Economic Development Secret Revealed

The hoped for home run from Myrtle Beach Regional Economic Development Corporation was reduced to a bunt single when it was revealed the secret Project Blue is really just a 1,000 job call center.

County council debated the project behind closed doors in executive session for two weeks, before council member Gary Loftus and EDC CEO Brad Lofton made the details of the project public in an interview with the Myrtle Beach Herald last week? Why all the initial secrecy?

A 1,000 job call center project that offers $14 per hour to employees while it receives $24-$30 million of combined incentives is about as good as it is going to get for Horry County economic development. At least that is what Loftus told the Herald last week.

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Top Secret Economic Development

August 3, 2012 10:26 PM
Top Secret Economic Development

The secrecy surrounding a project of the Myrtle Beach Regional Economic Development Corporation, which will soon be up for second reading by county council on an ordinance to issue $8 million in public debt for the project, may be very good news for county residents.

I have had several conversations recently with local Republican activist, and one of the founders of the South Strand Republican Club, John Bonsignor about possibilities for the project. Bonsignor said he was asked, by EDC board member and former county Republican Party chairman Robert Rabon, to help promote passage of the ordinance by council members.

Even though he was given few details of the project, Bonsignor agreed to do so. Bonsignor did mention to me that he was of the understanding the total incentive package for the project totaled approximately $30 million for a 1,000 job call center. Bonsignor said he would like to get more details to have confidence in the project.

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Why All the Secrecy

July 28, 2012 11:20 PM
Why All the Secrecy

Several days ago, we ran a story about how South Carolina ranks dead last among the 50 states for freedom of information access to government information. Thursday night, we learned that Horry County is attempting to rank at the bottom of the state’s 46 counties for public disclosure of information about its actions.

Horry County Council voted 7-2 Thursday night to pass first reading of an ordinance that would allow the issuance of $8 million of general obligation debt while refusing to publicly state what the money will be used for. Council members Harold Worley and Marion Foxworth voted no on the ordinance while members Brent Schulz, Paul Price and Paul Prince were not present at the meeting.

This vote took place during the second specially called council meeting in three days, both dedicated to executive sessions on a Myrtle Beach Regional Economic Development Corporation initiative called “Project Blue.”

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