Horry County Notebook | Striving for pedal power

bdickerson@thesunnews.comJanuary 10, 2013 

— Organizers are in the very early stages of getting a bicycle and pedestrian path built in Carolina Forest, but community officials are ready for it to come to fruition.

“Nothing happens quickly,” said Bo Ives, president of the Carolina Forest Civic Association.

At Tuesday’s meeting of the Horry County Parks and Recreation Board, attendees were shown a presentation of the proposed bike and pedestrian improvements that would go down Carolina Forest Boulevard.

Ives said the project is broken down into eight phases. The entire endeavor is budgeted at $6 million, and no funding is currently in place, said Lisa Bourcier, Horry County spokeswoman.

Civic association members met with the County Transportation Committee to try and secure funding for the first phase of the project, which would run from Carolina Forest Boulevard and Gateway Drive at Carolina Forest Elementary School to Walkers Woods, and cost almost $1 million.

The CTC denied the request for funding.

“We’re in competition with every other transportation project in the county,” Ives said. He added the next step is to go to the Grand Strand Transportation Study to try and secure funding for phase one.

Then there’s trying to tie the bike path in with the East Coast Greenway that crosses S.C. 31. That could get federal dollars for the Carolina Forest bike path.

The process, Ives said, first started over a year ago and the hope was the entire eight-phase project would have been in place by the time the Carolina Forest Recreation Center opened.

Ives said it’s not feasible for the project to be finished in a year because the widening of Carolina Forest Boulevard won’t be complete. Once that begins, it can actually help speed along the work to get the bike path finished.

“It’s a very real project,” Ives said.

Once the bike path is complete, it will be in addition to the 24.5-acre lot at the corner of S.C. 31 and International Drive along the Intracoastal Waterway, near Carolina Forest, the Myrtle Beach Triathlon Club turned into a run and bike park.

That site is reserved for future athletics fields, parks and recreation director Brent Taylor has said. However, there’s no rush to develop it, and no funding for it yet.

Animal care center hosting meetings about feral program

The Horry County Animal Care Center will host three public meetings to talk about its upcoming program that will trap, neuter and return 1,000 free-roaming cats in the Conway area.

Each public meeting will be held in multi-purpose room B of the Horry County Government and Justice Center, located at 1301 Second Ave., in Conway.

The dates and times are: Jan. 15 at 6 p.m.; Jan. 22 at 4 p.m. and 6 p.m.; and Jan. 31 at 3 p.m.

The county’s animal care center received a $51,060 grant from PetSmart Charities for the program. The 29526 zip code in the Conway area was chosen because it was identified as the location where the most intakes of feral and free-roaming cats are brought into the center, according to a press release.

For more information, call 915-5172.

County elections office to talk new voter ID law

To help inform citizens of the new photo identification requirements for voting, Horry County Registration and Elections will hold two public seminars.

The photo identification bill was passed prior to the 2012 General Election and took effect January 1, 2013.

Both meetings will take place in the multi-purpose rooms at the Horry County Government & Justice Center, located at 1301 Second Ave., in Conway.

The dates and times are: Jan. 24 and Feb. 5, both from 6 to 9 p.m.

Contact BRAD DICKERSON at 626-0301 or follow him at Twitter.com/TSN_bdickerson.

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