Horry County Council Set to Pay $105,000 for Myrtle Beach Airport-Management Study

If approved, the study would look at how well the airport staff juggles recent increases in passengers, airport leases for companies such as AvCraft and day-to-day work on a $200 million terminal expansion.

She said the council likely will re-evaluate airport operations after the study but there are no glaring problems with management at this point.

"I sure couldn't put my finger on anything that is a problem of significance," Gilland said.

Councilman John Boyd voted in favor of the study Nov. 29. Although County Council is approving the funding, the money will come from the airport's budget. The Solid Waste Authority and Partners also paid for their studies.

"I think [the studies] were very beneficial, and I think this one will be, too," Boyd said.

After an efficiency study this year and six weeks of workshops, Partners was reborn as the county Regional Economic Development Corp. with new leaders and a new reporting procedure to show Horry County how its annual investments create economic growth in the area.

The group is negotiating a new contract, including annual funding, with Horry County.

A similar study of the Solid Waste Authority had much smaller consequences.

"It was favorable on the Solid Waste Authority's behalf," showing the authority is run "very efficiently," and resulted in the removal of one employee position, Executive Director Ricky Hardee said.

Liz Gilland | County Council chairwoman

New terminal

Costs of a new airport terminal have been scaled back from $250 million to $200 million over the past year, and now the county faces a dispute over millions of dollars with its engineering contractor.

The airport is a key resource for the area's tourism economy and is predicted to have a record number of passengers this year.

AvCraft, which leases property at the airport, raised political controversy this year over financial performance and missed job-creation deadlines.

If you go

What | Horry County Council meeting

Where | County Government and Justice Center, Second Avenue, Conway

When | 6 p.m. today

Why | Council takes a final vote on funding an airport-management study

Myrtle Beach Sun News

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