Surfside Beach prepares for new leadership, finalizes budget

Surfside Beach prepares for new leadership, finalizes budget

SURFSIDE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – Tuesday was an exciting day for Surfside Beach. Brand-new leadership took the reins at the town council meeting, which started at 6:30 p.m.

It comes as the town has mostly finalized its budget for the next fiscal year beginning July 1.

The town's tax dollars are being used largely on one thing, but it's something almost everyone in the area takes advantage of - the beach. Repairing the damaged and eroding coastline is the number one priority for Surfside Beach town leaders finalizing the budget. As a result there was not room for much else in the 2017 budget.

Town officials called it a bare-bones year. The only other significant expense is for the Surfside Beach Fire Department's new radio system. A sum of $170,000 is being set aside as Horry County mandated emergency agencies switch from analog to digital systems by 2017. It's a switch made by police in Surfside Beach summer of 2015.

Officers will use that system during Bike Fest, as the town will put aside $75,000 for personnel and resources during Memorial Day Weekend in 2017.

Otherwise, there are no major staffing changes, no notable purchases, and no big projects to beautify or improve the town layout. That's because there's no more money. Leaders will write a $1.2 million check this summer for the beach renourishment project to begin fall of 2016. The project is fast-tracked a year earlier than planned, thanks to the Army Corps of Engineers, because of the rate of coastline erosion from storms and flooding.

Incoming mayor Bob Childs says he expects the current version of the budget to pass. Town council will vote on it May 24 at 6:30 p.m., and the public is invited to attend.

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