Myrtle Beach City Council plans to discuss disaster recovery plan

Updated: Jan. 28, 2020 at 12:55 PM EST
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MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - Myrtle Beach city leaders will gather Tuesday to discuss the approval of a grant to develop a short and long-term disaster recovery plan to include economic recovery.

If the motion is approved, Myrtle Beach city manager John Pedersen or his designee will apply for a $37,500 grant from the United States Economic Development Administration, which is part of the United States Department of Commerce.

According to city leaders, the plan is geared toward health and safety needs beyond rescue, rebuilding and reconstruction of the community and economic base.

Pedersen said this is something they never hope they have to use but if they do, it will help them prepare for the very worst case. He added it will also help in getting FEMA reimbursements.

“Right now, we don’t have a short or long-term recovery plan," Pedersen said. "This is basically a plan that we would put together in the event that there was a category five hurricane that hit and really kind of wiped out our commercial activity, wiped out our residential activity.”

Pedersen said the city currently does have a disaster preparedness plan. Elements of that plan deal with how to make repairs, clean up and get services back. But the proposed plan goes beyond that.

Pedersen said the short term part of it is about how they get city services back online quickly to facilitate recovery efforts. The long-term deals with the whole community and how to get the economy going. He added the grant would pay half of a $75,000 consulting plan. If approved, the other half would come from the city.

If the motion and the grant application are both approved, the local match will be transferred from the contingency account to the emergency management account.

City council will also discuss a motion regarding a partnership with Coastal Carolina University. If approved by council, Chapin Memorial Library would turn into a campus building, designed for educating graduate students. The former First Presbyterian Church would become a K-8 charter school.

Pedersen said CCU has already approved their half of the “memorandum of agreement,” which basically lays out the business terms.

Pending approval, Pedersen said the next steps are to look at specific lease agreements or use agreements.

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