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Carolina Forest faces fight to keep services amid budget cuts

Carolina Forest, because of the way it was designed and planned, has a little more resiliency to the recession, a local Realtor said.

But a county councilman, who represents the area, said the fight will be ongoing for the unincorporated area to salvage the services it has amid county budget cuts.

Joe Garrell, a Realtor with Litus Properties, said Carolina Forest's popularity in recent years has helped the area fare better than other areas and towns along the coast.

"I think it's slowed things down," he said.

Carolina Forest is not an incorporated town, so it relies on Horry County to maintain roads and other services.

Horry County Councilman Marion Foxworth said this year's challenge will be to preserve what Carolina Forest has.

"We are probably looking at massive budget cuts and probably personnel cuts in next year's budget," Foxworth said. "One of the things that I'm going to be striving hard for is that we do not lose the public safety sectors in the police and we do not lose the EMS squad and we do not lose either fire truck.

"It's going to be real tough to keep, but that's what I'm going to be fighting for."

He believes the housing market will make a turnaround this year.

"After [the bottom falls out], single-family home construction should pick back up," he said. "But multi-family homes, I think we're still looking at one to two years."

Garrell said he thinks the area will start seeing some recovery by the third or fourth quarter of this year.

"There's really not anything you can do until you let this play out," he said. "We think we have hit rock bottom already."

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