Horry County Council approves budget amendments, including employee bonus

Christmas may be a little brighter for full-time employees with Horry County.

The County Council gave final approval Tuesday to an amendment providing funding for additional employee compensation. The amendment also allows for three new positions, while putting more funds into the retiree insurance.

County Councilman Marion Foxworth said the money comes from a state fund called the “local government fund.”

“We got kind of lucky,” he said. “Some of the other local county governments had to use some money from the state. We weren’t sure exactly how much it was going to be when we finalized our budget. We were able to balance our budget without it.”

Those funds actually came in higher than anticipated, Foxworth said. All full-time employees will now receive a one-time bonus come the holiday season, Foxworth said. He couldn’t be sure of the exact bonus amount on Tuesday night.

The County Council approved the bonuses with no discussion.

Also Tuesday the Council gave final approval for the addition of two deputies for the Horry County Sheriff’s Office and two transport vans. Those monies already are in the system, Foxworth explained. He described it as a budget neutral amendment, because money is simply being moved from one place to another.

Mike Barbee, with the S.C. Department of Transportation, gave council an update on the Riding on a Penny project which uses revenue from a 1 percent sales tax to fund road improvements.

Barbee said the construction at the backgate on U.S. 17 at Farrow Parkway and S.C. 707 is approximately 40 percent complete and on schedule for completion in the fall of 2014.

Work could begin next year on two other projects coveted on the south end of the county – the widening of S.C. 707 and Glenn’s Bay Road.

In each project, the DOT is acquiring right of way properties. Barbee said is a particularly difficult along Glenn’s Bay Road where there are about 400 properties in the road that stretches less than two miles between U.S. 17 business and bypass.

Both roads could begin construction next summer with completion on Glenn’s Bay Road in the summer of 2016, and S.C. 707 in fall 2016.