Horry County Council continues batch plant discussion

Horry County Council passed a second reading tonight about batch plants.

"This is the same ordinance we have worked on for a year now. Most of our batch plants owners have been a part of this," councilman Jody Prince said.

Under the new ordinance, permanent batch plants must be 500 feet from a school or residential area, and temporary batch plants must be 1000 feet away.

Five speakers from the community spoke out about the proposed ordinance. Residents worried about residential noise and pollution problems.

Local business owners who operate batch plant businesses say passing this ordinance would keep them up and operational. Under the ordinance, new batch plants must be approved by the Horry County planning commission.

"We've kind of sort of made it hard to put in a batch plant, haven't we?" Councilman Gary Loftus said.

Loftus added his extreme displeasure with a temporary batch plant that was shut down after operating illegally.

Benton Ready Mix of Conway received a written warning from Horry County officials on August 29th for operating a temporary concrete batch plant without a permit in the Berkshire community off River Oaks Drive.

The batch plant is on the property where a new elementary school is being built off Augusta Plantation Drive. Batch plants are banned by the county in construction areas, but members passed first reading of an ordinance that allows temporary batch plants during a meeting on Aug. 16.

Until it's passed, Benton Ready Mix is in violation.

Councilman Marion Foxworth suggested adding an amendment that required illegally operating batch plants to sit out for a calendar year after found violating the ordinance. It failed.

Council will still have to pass a third reading on the ordinance before it becomes law. They plan on being briefed at a committee of the whole meeting before the next county council meeting.