Interim Coast RTA GM suggests Georgetown route cut; board says make it work

Coast RTA’s finance committee will examine a $5.3 million proposed budget for next year that relies on increased local funding, which has not even been committed.

Without the added funding, interim General Manager Julie Norton-Dew said the popular Georgetown route would realize some cuts, which didn’t sit well with board members.

Norton-Dew recently presented the budget to Coast’s board of directors, which includes about $400,000 of requested, not committed, funding, which surprised Gary Loftus, board member for Coast.

“Why would we do a budget based on reality? That’s just counter productive, isn’t it?” Loftus said. “I don’t mind you being optimistic and going to ask the city of Myrtle Beach for this and the city of North Myrtle Beach for that, you could even ask the county for more money, I don’t have a problem with that. You don’t budget money unless you got it locked in.”

Coast RTA receives funding from the Federal Transit Administration, the state and local government agencies to operate a bus service through most of Horry County into Georgetown County. Norton-Dew said if she pulls the figures she has asked for, including an additional more than $200,000 from Georgetown County, it will impact routes.

“Well, if we’re going to [account for committed funds only], then we would have to cut down Georgetown County services,” Norton-Dew said. “And that’s how we would budget.”