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Horry council approves Coast RTA’s $1M funding agreement unanimously

Horry County Councilmen approved an annual $1.05 million funding agreement for Coast RTA’s 2016 fiscal year with just a few changes from last year’s agreement.

This will be the second year Horry County and Coast operate on a funding agreement that is aimed at increasing accountability for the more than $1 million the county gives to Coast annually for operations.

The new agreement was approved unanimously at its meeting Tuesday — a stark difference from the split vote council has traditionally had when it voted on Coast proposals in the past. The agreement still must be approved by Coast’s board at a special meeting Friday.

The $1.055 million figure came from a non-binding 2010 referendum where more than 60 percent of voters advised the county to provide .06 of a mill to fund the transit. County officials opted to fund the transit at that rate.

Councilman Al Allen, who has voted against funding Coast in the past because voters in his district did not approve the non-binding referendum, said after Tuesday’s meeting he voted for the agreement because of the added trust he has in the agency. It recently hired Brian Piascik, with decades of transit experience, as its chief executive officer.

The new additions include requiring Coast to revisit and update a 2010 Transportation Development Plan that new CEO Brian Piascik was involved with when he was a consultant. Coast will also be required to consider a peer review by other transit agencies across the nation associated with the American Public Transit Association.

The new agreement also requires Coast to provide a written report to the council outlining the results of a financial management overview performed and required by the Federal Transit Administration.

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