Myrtle Beach Votes Itself $7 Million Bill

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Keeping up appearances will cost Myrtle Beach-area taxpayers $7 million. The Myrtle Beach Sun-News says the FAA has sent Horry County, which encompasses Myrtle Beach International Airport, a bill for that amount because it didn't go through with a terminal project. The county and FAA spent a total of about $18 million on clearing the site and designing the building before the Community Appearance Board quashed the project last April. The FAA says it paid the money on the condition that the project go through and now it wants it back.

The bill could have been higher, according to FAA officials. The agency also chipped in an unknown amount for buying the property but since it could still be used for the airport in the future it's not asking for that money back. The county has until Dec. 10 to pay the money back but FAA spokeswoman Elizabeth Cory said the agency is willing to negotiate a payment plan. County officials say they expected to pay back about $1 million. The full amount is available from airport revenues but that would cut into budgets for future projects, like renovation of the existing terminal.