Council member thinks recreation money would be better spent on public safety than charities

CONWAY, SC (WBTW) – A resolution that would eliminate $240,000 for recreation programs will go before Horry County council later this month.

We’ve previously reported each council member gets an account of $20,000 each year to spend at their discretion.

Council member Tyler Servant put forth the resolution that would cut the funding and add it to the general fund instead.

Servant says all the funding currently used on various programs, organizations and charities is wasteful because it does not go towards core functions of government.

“When the taxpayers pay money to the county they want to make sure it’s being spent wisely and effectively; and I don’t think that the way this money’s being spent is effective,” said Servant.

Servant says while the money goes to what he calls good organizations and charities, “Horry County council members should not be deciding money where money should be going to charities.”

He says there are more pressing needs for that money and on top of his list is public safety.

“To protect our quality of life, public safety has to be at the top of the list,” said Servant.

Servant says he stays in contact with Horry County’s police chief on the changing needs of the department.

“Chief Hill does think we need more resources and more boots on the ground that’s why we have an additional 9 officers in this year’s budget; but having said that, the landscape of public safety is always changing so we have ongoing conversations daily with chief hill about the resources that he needs,” explained Servant.

Servant added that he has only spent $1,000 of his recreation funds since he began serving on council, “and after that I decided not to spend any more money because I realized this money was being spent effectively or efficiently.”

He explained that the money is now just sitting in an account, because he’d rather have it left unspent than on programs he’d rather see eliminated.

“And that’s why I’m addressing it this year in this budget cycle,” said Servant.

The resolution is a budget amendment; it will go before Horry County council on May 16.  If adopted, it will go into effect after the third reading of the budget.