Big road costs face residents of Mt. Pleasant

June 29, 2012 by  

Due to exponential growth in Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina, as well as nearby areas such as Myrtle Beach, the town is faced with funding issues for paying for repairs to roads and underground storm water and sewer pipes that have been damaged over the past 30 years.

On Monday, June 11, town councilmen were unable to determine how to pay for a $14 million projected deficit in road and sewer maintenance and have no doubt been using flyer printing and poster printing to elicit from residents potential solutions to this problem.

As a town that has prided itself for years on having the lowest tax rate in the county, Mt. Pleasant is now facing the prospect that taxes and fees could be increased by as much as $231 per year per resident in order to cover the deficit.

The town currently spends about $2 million on an annual basis for the maintenance of roads and sewers. According to an outside engineering consultant, however, this annual appropriation is not enough to fund the needed expenses and could bankrupt the town as roads and sewers deteriorate and serious repairs are not made.

The engineering consultant added that the town is being proactive in addressing the issue of funding these repairs, but Town Administrator Eric DeMoura said that adding $14 million in revenue id about 20 percent of the annual operating budget of the town and would not be possible without a large increase in taxes and fees.

The town’s chief financial officer, Charlie Potts, added that taxes could not be raised immediately to the $14 million level as tax increases are capped at 15% a year. The town would need to consider adding new fees or undertaking loans in order to get at the $14 million level.