CONWAY — The talks centered around confidentiality in the economic development process and reining in green lasers were pulled from the Horry County Council’s agenda at the start of Tuesday’s meeting.
With those two big issues off the table, the council breezed through a now shortened agenda and called it an evening in under 30 minutes.
Chairman Tom Rice said many council members had requested the discussion on economic development confidentiality be pushed back to the Nov. 16 fall budget retreat so the discussion could be more in-depth. Council members unanimously approved the change.
Brad Lofton, president of the Myrtle Beach Regional Economic Development Corporation, planned to give a presentation about the importance of confidentiality when trying to lure new companies to the area.
The issue of confidentiality came up before the council passed final vote on an agreement to expand a local business and add 79 new jobs paying between $12 and $13 an hour. Only Councilman Harold Worley voted “no.”
That business was advertised as Project AF. Before the vote, Lofton announced the company is Native Sons, a screen printing and embroidery business located in Myrtle Beach.
Public review was scheduled before the council took its vote, but no one from the public spoke.
Councilman Marion Foxworth asked that, in the future, the name of the business be released prior to advertising public review.
Foxworth said he understands the need for confidentiality in economic development, but when it’s time for public review, the public needs to know specifics about the company in question.
Rice said that’s one of the items they’re going to discuss during the discussion at the fall budget retreat.
“I, like you, want to make sure we strike the appropriate balance,” Rice said.
As for the proposed ordinance on green lasers, the council asked it be deferred so the state delegation could take up the issue, said Lisa Bourcier, Horry County spokeswoman.
The proposed ordinance comes after several incidents in which green lasers were pointed at helicopters flown by the U.S. Coast Guard during search and rescue missions on the Grand Strand, most recently in Garden City Beach the first week of August.
In August, Cmdr. Gregory Fuller, commanding officer at Air Station Savannah, which provides air support for the Grand Strand, said the Coast Guard may not help with search efforts on the Grand Strand because their rescuers’ safety is in jeopardy.
Contact BRAD DICKERSON at 626-0301.