Horry County committee to look at forming committee to study landfill

jrodriguez@thesunnews.comJanuary 7, 2014 

— A comment made by Horry County Councilman Jody Prince in August to look into dissolving the Solid Waste Authority prompted the Horry County League of Cities to request it have a say-so if the county ever decides to discuss the matter.

That request led Horry County Chairman Mark Lazarus Tuesday to ask the county’s administration committee to consider forming the committee, though Lazarus is adamant the issue to dissolve the authority is not on the radar.

“It was a major factor of why we had requested that we would sit on a committee and be represented,” said Marylin Hatley, mayor of North Myrtle Beach and chairwoman of the league late Tuesday night. “We are the largest user of the solid waste authority, so anything that happens to the solid waste authority is something we’d like a say in.”

In August, Prince said at an Infrastructure and Regulation committee that he would like County Attorney Arrigo Carotti to look into what it would take to dissolve the authority and make it into an advisory board or commission. Prince said although there has been little movement on the request, he welcomes the opinion of the league.

“I’ve always been a League of Cities supporter and continue to be,” Prince said. “Our city governments are part of us. We need to understand their concerns... I welcome every opinion there is. As for the cities, I want to hear from them.”

Hatley said the league’s stance is that the Solid Waste Authority, which handles trash and recyclables from residents and businesses, is doing a good job.

“Right now, we’re very pleased with the service that we get from the Solid Waste Authority and we’re very pleased with the cost per ton,” she said. “We just want to make sure we protect our communities and our citizens.”

In South Carolina, county governments set up solid waste authorities and are also charged with dissolving them. He said, however, that issue is not on the radar at this point, but understands the league’s concerns.

“They wanted a voice if, at anytime, there was discussion in dissolving the Solid Waste Authority,” Lazarus said. “They wanted to be able to have a voice there.”

That is why Lazarus instructed the administration committee to look at the formation of a committee, which ensures the league their request: “how can we be involved to make sure the right decision is being made.”

In other news, two weeks and a three-hour discussion of the county’s attempt to repeal the construction and demolition debris portion of its flow control ordinance didn’t change any minds of councilmen as all voted similarly Tuesday to the same vote taken weeks ago.

Councilmen voted 6-5 to repeal the construction and demolition portion of its flow control ordinance Tuesday, which landfill officials have argued will mean up to a projected $927,500 loss annually. That figure is based on an estimated 35,000 tons of construction and demolition debris that would leave the county if it repealed the ordinance, which requires all construction and demolition debris to stay in Horry County. Proponents of the repeal have said those numbers are not accurate, and some have stated their concern is the longevity of the landfill.

The ordinance will take three readings to pass. Councilmen Carl Schwarzkopf, Paul Prince, Marion Foxworth, Harold Worley and James Frazier voted against the first and second readings of the repeal. Councilman Brent Schulz recused himself from both discussions and votes. The third vote is scheduled for Jan. 21.

Contact JASON M. RODRIGUEZ at 626-0301 or follow him at Twitter.com/TSN_jrodriguez.

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