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Dredging projects top list for penny sales tax

  • Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Dredging the channel in Winyah Bay leading to the Port of Georgetown is the top project for a proposed one-cent sales tax referendum.

The number two project is dredging of the Murrells Inlet channel.

The Georgetown County Capital Projects Sales Tax Commission – working to formulate a referendum question about a one-cent sales tax on the November ballot – has decided the priority for five capital projects the tax would fund.

The commission also decided at its meeting on June 19 the wording of the referendum question, formulated by County Attorney Wesley Bryant.

The total revenue from the one-cent sales tax is estimated at $7 million each of the four years it would be in effect.

Priority list

1 – Winyah Bay dredging, estimated at $6 million for the local contribution

2 – Murrells Inlet dredging and disposal site preparation, estimated at $10.3 million

3 – Andrews fire/police complex, estimated to cost $1.5 million

4 – Fire substations throughout the county, at a cost of about $1.5 million

5 – Road resurfacing, which would use the remaining funds, estimated at $8.7 million

These five projects were selected by County Council based on a series of surveys by the University of South Carolina.

The wording of the ordinance will give County Council the option to borrow money, so the projects could all begin at the same time, making the priority list obsolete.

At its final meeting on June 26, the commission will view a finalized list for road resurfacing and determine how the roads will be prioritized.

“We have to trust the experts,” Commission Chair George Geer III said about the priority for the road improvement list.

One of the things that commission members discussed was Choppee Road, which has a $4 million estimated cost.

Currently on the list for 12.5 miles from Black Water Loop to Pleasant Hill Drive, commission members decided that road should be divided into segments.

The wording for the referendum question will be available on the Georgetown County website after County Council’s July 8 meeting.

That is when the second reading of the ordinance for the sales tax referendum will be approved or denied.

Second reading of the ordinance, which included a public hearing, was on June 24.

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