MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) -Parkman Tree Service received more than $110,000 from Myrtle Beach since January 2018 for tree maintenance.
The city’s check registry revealed the company removed and trimmed trees various times throughout the year, including after the hurricane.
However, the city also employs workers to trim and care for trees on public areas throughout the city.
Seventeen employees and around $2.5 million were allocated for Right-of-Way and Beach Maintenance in the 2017-2018 fiscal year, according to Myrtle Beach’s annual budget.
Tree care, planting, trimming and removal all fall under the responsibility of this service.
Myrtle Beach spokesperson Mark Kruea said Parkman Tree Service is needed in addition to city staff because some projects fall out of staff’s expertise.
“You’ll see some of our city crews out trimming palm trees out doing other maintenance, certainly on the Right-of-Way, but in the parks as well. When we hire a contractor it’s typically for something that we cannot do ourselves, either from a resource, human power or equipment stand point,” Kruea said.
Parkman Tree Service was selected after the city put out a bid for the service.
Kruea said the city contracts out for other services like landscaping and these contracts could actually save Myrtle Beach some money.
“It’s much less expensive to make sure we can hire a properly certified contractor to do some of this work rather than to have all of that equipment and all the expertise on city staff, so while there is an expense attached to it, it may be a saving in the long run,” Kruea explained.
Kruea said these services are needed to ensure the safety of residents.
“Things grow over time, so you need to make sure that they’re pruned properly, so that they aren’t a danger to the public,” he said. “Trees also die over time, so in many cases they are taking down a dead tree to make sure that piece of property is safe for people to be on.”
Kruea also said the cost for trimming and removing trees is also needed to maintain the city’s appearance.
“Residents want their neighborhoods and their streets going into their neighborhood to look nice but we’re also a tourism destination and we want to make sure we look nice for our visitors,” Kruea said.
The city maintains more than 28,000 trees, according to the city’s budget.