Horry County pays thousands to maintain private driveways, council looking to change that

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WBTW) – Right now, Horry County uses your tax dollars to maintain 95 driveways for people in rural parts of the county.

Some county leaders want to stop paying for them, but others on county council want to fight the change.

For years, the the county has taken up the expense, but county spokesperson Lisa Bourcier says council leaders are facing a big question.

“Should we continue to maintain roads that are basically private driveways that really only benefit one or two property owners,” said Bourcier.

Off major roads in the county, sit 664 dirt roads many council members no longer want to pay for.

“Paving roads and maintaining roads is very expensive. So, we’re looking at ways to see if that would make a difference,” said Bourcier.

This week, the county’s engineer says Horry County pays about $4,000 per mile, per year for the 95 driveways they maintain. That’s about $54,000.

“We’ve been doing roads for years, and probably didn’t have really good policies and practices on the books, so as time has evolved over the years, we’ve been able to put together more procedures and ordinances relating to that,” said Bourcier.

The ordinance says for the county to keep maintaining the road, it would have to qualify as serving a public benefit with one of those standards being the road would have to serve at least four property owners.

“There are some roads that we are maintaining, and certain roads that we’re not. So, that always is the debate on why we’re doing something for someone and not for someone else,” said Bourcier.

Council members Paul Prince, Mark Lazarus, Al Allen, and Harold Worley were against the ordinance, but the final reading will go to council next month.

News13 spoke with Prince, and he says he’s voting to keep the roads maintained. He says right now, this may be the only incentive for some property owners in Horry County.

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