City looks at plan to increase safety at big events - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

City looks at plan to increase safety at big events

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - It does not specifically call it by name but few would argue a new ordinance, which passed first reading at Myrtle Beach City Council this week, is not mostly aimed at Bikefest and what the city can do when it comes to improving safety during Memorial Day weekend if things fall apart like last year.

First, it would allow the city to declare Bikefest an extraordinary event.  Calling it an extraordinary event would allow the city to do a number of things.

The city could hire temporary security officers, require local businesses to also bring on private security, and more.

“It allows us to say these streets and these sidewalks are closed,” added city spokesperson Mark Kruea.  “Allows us to close businesses between 11:00 pm and 6:00 am and to protect the public really is the key piece of that element."

The city stresses an extraordinary event must truly be overwhelming or an event that is just too big for the space it has.   

Owner of The Bowery Victor Shamah said he knows why the city came up with the ordinance.  He also said the city would need to be very careful with how often and when it steps in to close businesses overnight during the busy weekend.

“Well, we never like to close no matter what but I can understand if it's a bad situation that we might have to close,” said Shamah.  “I would hate to see my business ever closed because we're open every day to do business."

This ordinance still needs to be passed a second time which could happen when it goes back on the agenda at city council on April 28.

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