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Accommodations tax: Committee cuts back grant requests

By Jason Lesley
Coastal Observer

Dana Arneman, chairman of the Georgetown County Accommodations Tax Advisory Committee, said the decisions about how to spend county tourism money this term were going to be very difficult before a hearing Thursday at the old county courthouse.

Only requests from Garden City for Highway 17 landscape maintenance and street lights, Murrells Inlet 2020 for median mowing and the Georgetown County Sheriff’s Office for beach patrol officers were fully funded in a recommendation the committee will past on to County Council for approval.

The panel entertained requests for $841,000 earlier this month with only $488,000 to spend.

Arneman said retaining vacationers is important once they begin visiting Georgetown County. Garden City provides a majority of the county’s tourism tax dollars while the town of Pawleys Island has its own accommodations taxes to spend.

The committee agreed to fund Garden City’s request for $14,220 to maintain the Highway 17 median from Highway 707 to the county line and $5,900 for street lights. Murrells Inlet 2020 will receive $18,500 to mow the Highway 17 median from Highway 707 to Wesley Road, and the sheriff’s office got $96,000 to pay the salaries of two officers assigned to the beaches.

The county Tourism Management Commission asked for $400,000 and got $192,476. The county Parks and Recreation Department requested $56,000 for trash pickup and maintenance at beach accesses. It got $28,000.

Cuts were also made to requests from the Litchfield Corridor Beautification Foundation, Pawleys Island Beautification Committee, Litchfield Beaches Property Owners Association, Murrells Inlet-Garden City Fire and Rescue and the S.C. Maritime Museum.

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