NMB City Council budget results

NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – The North Myrtle Beach City Council held its Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Retreat March 2-3. That fiscal year will run from July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2015.

The proposed FY 2015 Budget is $78.3 million. It provides for a five year plan and no property tax increase.

The Accommodations Tax Fund (A-Tax) for FY 2015 projects revenue of $3,282,132. State law directs that A-Tax funds received by a county or city that has a high concentration of tourism activity may be used to provide additional services including, but not limited to, law enforcement, traffic control, public facilities, and highway and street maintenance, as well as the continual promotion of tourism. The funds must be used to promote tourism and enlarge its economic benefits through advertising, promotion, and providing those facilities and services which enhance the ability of the county or city to attract and provide for tourists.

Based on Council discussion at the budget retreat, the proposed allocation of A-Tax funding for FY 2015 is as follows:

Athletics: $156,000

Beach Services: $196,467

James W. Caudle Foundation: $5,000

NMB Area Historical Museum" $21,500

NMB Chamber of Commerce: $426,519

NMB Chamber of Commerce - 30% Advertising Allocation: $1,009,500

Parks & Grounds: $409,910

Public Safety: $333,635

Public Works: $362,800

Recreation: $299,340

Support Services: $58,461

The Long Bay Symphony: $3,000

In the Street Improvement Fund, there are proposed expenditures of about $5.9 million, which include beach parking and access improvements, continued installation of sidewalk/bicycle lanes, road intersection improvements, road resurfacing, continued construction of the East Coast Greenway (bicycle route), continued conversion of overhead utilities to underground, road widening, annual bridge maintenance, and more. Beach access work includes walkway improvements at 53rd Avenue North, 4th Avenue North, 2nd Avenue South, and 45th Avenue South. New amenities to the Horseshoe at Main Street will also be introduced in FY 2015. The exact nature of those amenities has yet to be determined.

In the Water & Sewer Fund, a number of significant projects will either come to a conclusion or begin in FY 2015. Among them are system upgrades and relocations in the Highway 17 Windy Hill/Barefoot Landing area, along a portion of Ocean Boulevard in the Crescent Beach section, along Hillside Drive, and inland drainage work that is part of the Main Street Ocean Outfall project.

The water rate will not increase for FY 2015 but the sewer rate will increase by two cents per 1,000 gallons. That is a pass-through increase from Grand Strand Water & Sewer Authority.

As required by City ordinance, water and sewer impact fees will increase by 5%.

Copyright 2014 WMBF News. All rights reserved. North Myrtle Beach City Council contributed to this article.