Public news and announcements are brought to you by the Horry County Public Information Office.
On March 9, 2021
in County News
Today, the South Carolina Disaster Recover Office SCDRO announced the approval of CDBG-mitigation funding for Horry County that will help buyout properties from flood victims in the Socastee area of Horry County. SCDRO approved $13 million in buyout funding to purchase approximately 60 homes.
In addition, this funding will cover two major mitigation projects in the Bucksport area. This community expressed interest in solutions that would allow them to stay in their homes, and we determined there were some viable projects as a part of the County’s resiliency planning process. Those projects were submitted in this application for funding, and approved.
County Councilmember Cam Crawford said, “I am very encouraged by today’s announcement. I believe this will help provide significant relief to vulnerable members of our community, including the residents of Socastee.”
“We are very thankful that the state is providing Horry County with the funds to complete this critical piece of flood protection for our community,” said Horry County Council Chairman Johnny Gardner. “I also want to thank our local delegation, the Governor, and my fellow county council members for their hard work and advocacy that helped bring us to this moment.”
Horry County submitted an application for the buyout program in December 2020 and has recently learned that a portion of that proposal has been approved through the U.S. Housing and Urban Development Community Development Block Grant Mitigation Program. Horry County has been waiting for this program along with our residents for a number of years and we are prepared to expedite the program as quickly as possible in coordination with the state.
This is a voluntary program that will pay for the cost of purchasing, demolishing, and stabilizing lots for over 60 flood-prone homes along the Intracoastal Waterway in Socastee. Homes outside of the targeted area will apply directly to SCDRO—more information is available on their website at https://florence.scstormrecovery.com/.
Horry County will be hosting a virtual seminar on March 23, 2021 at 3 p.m. to provide an update to affected residents to be followed by several intake meetings in the designated areas. Anyone who filled out the interest form last year will be contacted by the County with their next steps. Even those who did not fill out the interest form last year are eligible to begin the intake process, assuming they meet the criteria.
Director of Community Development Courtney Frappaolo said, “The Community Development Office is working closely with the state to develop a smooth intake process so that we can help residents get through this program as efficiently as possible. We know that these residents have been tremendously patient and we ask that everyone continue to work together with us as we get this underway.”
Visit horrycounty.org/resiliencyproject to stay informed about these projects.
On March 5, 2021
in Weekly Update
All of the following meetings will take place virtually and will be broadcast on the Horry County Government website as well as the Government Access Channel (Spectrum/Time Warner channel 1301 or Horry Telephone Cooperative Channel 14).
Parks & Open Space Board
Monday, March 8, 2021, 12 p.m.
Click here to download and view the agenda or here for the packet.
This meeting will take place virtually and will be broadcast on the Horry County Government website as well as the Government Access Channel (Spectrum/Time Warner channel 1301 or Horry Telephone Cooperative Channel 14).
Zoning Board of Appeals
Monday, March 8, 2021, 5:30 p.m.
Public Safety Committee
Tuesday, March 9, 2021, 9 a.m.
Infrastructure & Regulation Committee
Tuesday, March 9, 2021, 2 p.m.
Stormwater Advisory Committee
Wednesday, March 10, 2021, 3 p.m.
Click here to download and view the agenda.
Members of the public will have an opportunity to provide public comment via telephone. You must sign up in advance to speak at public hearing by 5 pm on Tuesday, March 9, 2021. You can sign up by calling Michelle Crocker at (843)915-6955 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
International Drive Road Closure for Controlled Burns Next Week
Conway, S.C. (March 5, 2021) - The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) intends to perform controlled burns in the vicinity of International Drive on Monday, March 8, 2021, through Friday, March 12, 2021. Prescribed burns are set intentionally for purposes of forest management and to prevent uncontrolled forest fires. The controlled burn will reduce the accumulation of flammable fuels on the forest floor in accordance with SCDNR’s planned land management objectives.
This controlled burn will require a temporary road closure of International Drive, from SC Highway 90 to Ocean Bay Elementary School, for all traffic. Road closures are expected to begin Monday, March 8th at 10:00 am. There is a possibility that the road will remain closed beginning Monday morning and reopen Friday night. Law Enforcement will be enforcing the road closure. Access to the Horry County Solid Waste Recycling Facility will remain open but only from SC Highway 90.
This schedule is subject to change and is based upon the most current weather forecast. Please plan your travel accordingly. Alternate routes include US Highway 501 and SC Highway 22.
Partial Road Closure on Industrial Park Road
A portion of Industrial Park Road in Conway, between Harris Shortcut Road and the curved section of Industrial Park Road in front of the Horry County Animal Care Center, will be closed to all traffic except construction traffic. Motorists in the area should use caution, stay alert for crews working in the area, and pay attention to all signs and traffic control devices.
Horry County Government COVID 19 Operations Update
Following the guidance from Governor McMaster and state agencies, Horry County will allow public access to its buildings with the best safety practices being implemented. Safety measures will include:
To help alleviate crowding in public areas, Horry County encourages individuals to continue to do business online and over the phone with county departments where possible. Horry County will continue to phase into operations as conditions permit, and ask for patience if wait times exist.
Anyone planning to visit a County building should be prepared to check in with staff located at the entrance to the facility. Visitors may be asked to wait outside the office or facility depending on the capacity of the facility.
County officials remind everyone to continue to follow CDC and S.C. DHEC safety guidelines as well as Governor McMaster’s executive orders that remain in effect.
Circuit, Family, Probate, and Master-in-Equity Court will begin holding in-person proceedings, other than jury trials, on Monday, March 15, 2021, (including in-person Grand Jury proceedings). Circuit Court will resume holding jury trials on Monday, April 5, 2021.
All Summary Courts (Central Traffic, Central Jury, Magistrates', Domestic Violence Court, and Preliminary Hearings) may begin holding in-person proceedings starting March 15, 2021. Central Traffic Court will begin holding in-person hearings on April 5, 2021.
On March 5, 2021
in Closings, County News
The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) intends to perform controlled burns in the vicinity of International Drive on Monday, March 8, 2021 through Friday, March 12, 2021. Prescribed burns are set intentionally for purposes of forest management and to prevent uncontrolled forest fires. The controlled burn will reduce the accumulation of flammable fuels on the forest floor in accordance with SCDNR’s planned land management objectives.
This schedule is subject to change and is based upon the most current weather forecast. Please plan your travel accordingly. Alternate routes include: US Highway 501 and SC Highway 22.
On February 26, 2021
in Weekly Update
[Revised 3.1.21 to correct date for Planning Commission public input.]
Tuesday, March 2, 2021, 6 p.m.
IMPORTANT NOTICE CONCERNING PUBLIC COMMENT FOR VIRTUAL MEETINGS
Members of the public will have the opportunity to provide comments via telephone on items that are scheduled for a public hearing. Speakers must sign up prior to 3:00 p.m. Tuesday, March 2nd, 2021, by contacting Pat Hartley at (843) 915-5120, or by email email@example.com. Written comments submitted to the same email address will be accepted and provided to council members.
Public Hearings that are scheduled for March 2nd Virtual Meeting include the following:
Ordinance 21-2021 to approve the request of Venture Engineering, agent for C&R Builders, to amend the official zoning maps.
Thursday, March 4, 2021, 5:30 p.m.
Members of the public will have an opportunity to provide public comment via telephone on the items having a public hearing. You must sign up in advance to speak at public hearing by 5 pm on Wednesday, March 3, 2021. You can sign up by calling Nancy Tindall at (843)915-7893 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also submit written comments to be provided to each Planning Commission member at the same email, email@example.com.
Horry County Government COVID19 Operations Update
Circuit Court and Family Court cases will not be heard in person until further notice, with the exception of emergency situations.
All Summary Court (Central Traffic, Central Jury, Magistrate's, Domestic Violence Court, and Preliminary Hearings) proceedings have been suspended until further notice.
On February 23, 2021
in County News
In its efforts to maintain a positive working relationship with SCDHEC as initial vaccination efforts have been ramping up across the state, Horry County Government chose to provide only a limited response to recent reporting concerning Horry County Government’s administration of the COVID-19 vaccine. However, following weeks of working with SCDHEC to reach an appropriate and amicable joint response, including a call that we requested with their team yesterday, the misinformation being conveyed to the public by media and others has only increased, and thus Horry County feels it is imperative to provide this information directly to our community.
SCDHEC has never denied that they provided guidance to Horry County and approved the County’s vaccination plan, yet the media coverage has insinuated that the County somehow acted inappropriately by providing vaccinations outside of SCDHEC’s priority guidelines. The simple fact is that Horry County has at all times complied with SCDHEC’s guidance, and if SCDHEC was better able to satisfy its current supply challenges, we would not be having this discussion.
Horry County was not the first organization to have a similar program approved by SCDHEC, and other local providers, including medical facilities and municipalities have similarly undertaken action to provide this critical protection to their employees and others. For example, many local hospitals partnered with government organizations to provide vaccines to active members of law enforcement with the approval of SCDHEC—guidance that is now being interpreted by SCDHEC to remove law enforcement members completely from the 1A guidelines. This means these other organizations would also be non-compliant. The 1A guidance on SCDHEC’s website appears to contradict what is included in their latest email to us—this just adds to the continued confusion for all of us.
Those other organizations have not received the same level of scrutiny from SCDHEC or from local media reporting. It is time for SCDHEC to acknowledge the mismanagement and miscommunication early in the distribution process that led to these issues. SCDHEC, including those “senior officials” on our recent call, have known about this for weeks, yet did not stop providing us with doses of vaccines or ask us to change course. We were provided with an initial 3,500 doses, despite not having requested any doses at that point, and those were more than we would need to vaccinate those in the now narrowly construed 1A category—and SCDHEC knew.
We have enough second doses for everyone who received a first dose from us and we will be administering those. We will administer the remaining supply, with new guidance from SCDHEC, to members of our community using the same VAMS software we were already utilizing. Assuming SCDHEC does not change their guidance to us again, we expect to release information to the public about how they can schedule an appointment with us in the near future.
Horry County will adapt to the latest guidance and will continue to forge ahead, together with SCDHEC, to get our community vaccinated, but we will not apologize for doing the right thing for our employees, with the approval of SCDHEC, at a time of crisis for our entire community.
Our community matters to us. Our senior citizens matter to us. Our teachers matter to us. We stand by, ready to assist, with an efficient system for distributing vaccines to our community and we will continue to work together with SCDHEC to achieve our shared ultimate goal of vaccinating everyone in Horry County that wants a COVID-19 vaccine.
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