MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Members of The Coastal Alliance are scheduled to meet Wednesday morning to discuss the summer's beach tent bans, plans for Memorial Day 2015 and other topics.
The goal of the beach tent ban was to promote safe access for visitors and emergency workers. The mayor of North Myrtle Beach tells WMBF News the goal was accomplished.
"It has been a tremendous help for the life guards and the beach patrol this year," says Marilyn Hatley, the mayor of North Myrtle Beach. " So I think it was the right thing to do," says Hatley.
Originally, the Coastal Alliance agreed they would push for the same ban at all of our beaches, but then the different city councils came up with their own plans. Here's a rundown of the different bans. Myrtle Beach and North Myrtle Beach decided on seasonal bans -- both of which are now lifted. Horry County decided on a year-round ban. And Surfside still allows tents all year round. The hope from today's meeting is to see what worked and if any changes need to be made.
"We hope to put the beach tent thing to bed," says Thomas Leath, the city manager of Myrtle Beach. "There was some discussion at the beginning of the season to meet after the season and see whether or not we wanted to marry up the rules and have the same," said Leath.
Leath also told WMBF News that the beach committee for the city of Myrtle Beach is pleased with how the seasonal ban went this year, and that they're not looking to make any changes.
Another hot topic on today's agenda will be Memorial Day Weekend. Mayor Hatley says her main concern is addressing the traffic plan for next year's holiday because that affects everyone along the Grand Strand. Mayor Hatley is concerned that the current proposal by the city of Myrtle Beach to create a 40-mile traffic loop simply will not work in everyone's best interest. She's hoping that today all the mayors will be able to openly discuss what could be a better solution for a smoother traffic pattern.
"We don't expect anybody, Myrtle Beach or the county or anyone, to push their traffic on us as we would not push our traffic on them," says Hatley. "And I don't expect that to happen. I think they're better neighbors than that. So I do not expect that to happen."
Mayor Hatley says each city faces different challenges during Memorial Day Weekend, so being open minded and willing to work together will be most effective. She also tells WMBF News that she is very confident in North Myrtle Beach's public safety department and their plans that are being worked out for Memorial Day Weekend.
The Coastal Alliance represents coastal cities and towns along the Grand Strand, as well as Horry County. The meeting will be at 11 a.m. on Wednesday at Myrtle Beach City Hall.