Horry County votes to pay for parking enforcement

jrodriguez@thesunnews.comFebruary 4, 2014 

— Horry County Council voted Tuesday to transfer $15,000 from its Accommodations Tax Fund to the General Fund to supplement a move the county made with its parking program in the fall.

As of October, Horry County Police-Beach Patrol took over the county’s paid parking enforcement in the Garden City and Shore Drive areas.

Prior to October, the county contracted with Lanier, who worked for a portion of the fees collected. Now it puts the beach patrol in charge of enforcement, and will fund the program with parking fees collected. The transferred $15,000 from the accommodations tax fund to the general fund will be used mostly for the cost of salaries, benefits, transportation and materials.

Councilman Brent Schulz, chairman of the public safety committee said after Tuesday’s council meeting that the move to take over the collection program was better for the county financially.

“Economically, it works better for us this way,” Schulz said. “We have people available to do a lot of the policing and enforcement, so we were paying for something we could do in house.”

The $15,000 is relatively small compared to the two budgets this move impacts. The money will come from the Local A-Tax fund, which collected $967,715 in fiscal year 2013, and go to the estimated $122.7 million general fund budget.

Horry County initiated parking pay stations in the Shore Drive and Garden City Beach area to only accept credit cards for payment. They will become operational again in the spring.

The parking pay stations are located at 115 South Waccamaw Drive in Garden City Beach and at some public beach accesses along Shore Drive.Lisa Bourcier, spokeswoman for the county, said there is no concern with stretching the Horry County Police Department too thin.

“It’s gone through committee and worked out through law enforcement with the logistics and the manpower it will take to do an adequate job of enforcement,” Bourcier said. “The chief was confident that they can handle the job.”

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

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