CONWAY, SC (WBTW) – Horry County leaders decided Tuesday to stop using taxpayer money to maintain 10 private driveways in the county.
It’s a decision that was made with controversy amongst county leaders with some wanting to continue the maintenance. Nearly 100 roads, mostly in rural areas that primarily act as a private drive to one or two homes, have been maintained with tax payer money for years.
Off major roads in the county, there are more than 600 dirt roads that county leaders no longer want to pay for.
“There are several roads within the county, how they got there is another issue, but we do maintain a lot that just happen to be private driveways and other non-benefit, public benefit roads,” explains Lisa Bourcier, Horry County spokesperson.
The county maintains 95 driveways that cost roughly $4,000 per mile each year to upkeep, totally $54,000 annually.
“It’s a large county,” says Bourcier. “We may have been able to do some maintenance 30, 40, 50 years ago but now it’s a lot different. We have a lot more roads to maintain and we just need to make sure that we maintain roads that are a public benefit.”
Horry County Council leaders removed 10 roads from the maintenance list, which adds up to about a mile and a half the county will no longer maintain.
Council member Paul Prince, who in the past has voiced the county should continue the maintenance because it’s one of the few benefits rural residents who pay taxes in the county have, changed his stance in Tuesday’s meeting.
“We probably don’t need to be working driveways straight up to people’s houses that doesn’t belong to us,” agrees Prince. “That stands a reason we shouldn’t be doing that. So, I’m satisfied with what they brought to us today.”
The county will eliminate some roads from the maintenance list that have less than four homes on the road and Prince says he will watch for any new plans to remove roads.
“I’m going to be watching any roads, whether it’s district nine or any other district when it comes to helping people and being sure they’re treated fair and right,” assures Prince. “They all pay taxes, and they all pay the road maintenance fee.”
Any road the county wishes to remove from its upkeep list will go before county leaders. A written notice will also be sent to any homeowner to let them know before the county stops maintenance.