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Roads: Roundabout and park access in capital budget

By Jason Lesley
Coastal Observer

Waccamaw Neck will receive $1.9 million in road improvements in the next fiscal year under Georgetown County’s Capital Improvement Plan adopted this week by County Council.

The plan includes $600,000 in funding for a roundabout on Willbrook Boulevard that will allow school traffic from Wildcat Way to head east to Highway 17. The opening of the new Waccamaw Library branch on Willbrook Boulevard has also increased the need for access. Its entrance will be from St. Paul Place next to the headquarters station for Midway Fire and Rescue, but it will also have a connection with the adjacent intermediate school.

Two other projects will take place on Petigru Road. The county has set aside $903,325 to pave Petigru Extension to Aspen Loop and $370,000 for the realignment of the intersection at Petigru and Waverly.

Petigru Extension is a dirt road that serves as the entrance to Stables Park off Martin Luther King Road. Residents of Litchfield Country Club have expressed concerns that once the road is paved it will invite more traffic into their neighborhood.

County Administrator Sel Hemingway told members of the council projects in the Capital Improvement Plan are winding down and this will be the last time they will be presented in three-year segments unless a new study is undertaken and more projects approved.

Under the community enhancements, for instance, he said everything proposed in 2007 has been completed except $100,000 to beautify gateway signs. The last of the recreational amenities in the Waccamaw region is a $750,000 swimming pool in fiscal 2018.

The biggest capital expense left in the plan is $8 million for an addition to the county jail in three years.

“It would be prudent,” Hemingway said, “to revisit the long-term strategic plan and look at years beyond 2018.”

Included in the approved plan was a formula for spending revenues from an additional penny sales tax that begins May 1. Fiscal 2016 includes spending $2.3 million on a Murrells Inlet dredging spoils site, $750,000 for rural fire stations and $5.4 million in road resurfacing. Fiscal 2017 includes $6 million to dredge the Georgetown port and $8 million to dredge Murrells Inlet, $750,000 for a fire station at Big Dam Swamp and $3.5 million for road resurfacing. Fiscal 2018 has $1.5 million for a police and fire complex for the town of Andrews.

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