NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - North Myrtle Beach city officials want everyone on the same page - public officials and the public.
At the North Myrtle Beach Citizens Advisory Committee meeting on Monday, officials stood up to discuss how to come up with money for some major projects they'll have to spend big bucks on in the next few years.
The budget for fiscal year 2017 is mostly finished. City leaders turned their sights to projects they know will have to be completed by 2018 and beyond.
City officials are asking for help, and how the public wants to pay for three projects the city cannot go without. Those projects are ocean outfalls, beach renourishment, and building parking along the oceanfront.
North Myrtle Beach expects to need $60 million for the construction of ocean outfalls along the beach to keep the water clear and clean of bacteria from storm water runoff. Five million dollars will be needed to renourish beaches that have been left seriously eroded from storms over the last year. That estimate is the match required to pay the Army Corps of Engineers, which will ultimately complete the project slated for 2018.
Because there is a lack of parking near the oceanfront, leaders also outlined a need to build parking lots near the beach. Those lots are expected to cost around $16 million to build.
There are three options on the table to pay for these projects: a millage increase on property taxes, paying more for storm water each month, or passing a 1 cent sales tax through the South Carolina legislature.
"We are really looking for the one cent sales tax to pay for these major projects," explained North Myrtle Beach Mayor Marilyn Hatley. "These, a lot of these are tourist-related projects and the tourists would help pay for these projects when they come."
The bill is already written, and would go through the legislation process next year.
The city is asking for input from all residents; to voice an opinion, just visit the city's Facebook page here.