MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - A bill that would help ensure funding for restoring beaches and sand dunes is now backed by Myrtle Beach city leaders.
On Tuesday, the Myrtle Beach City Council voted to support the Beach Preservation Trust Act, which is currently in the state Senate. The measure would set aside state money used to match local funding for beach renourishment projects.
City manager John Pedersen said while most of the state's beaches were recently restored, the bill would create a safety net for funding, much like a savings account.
The bill would set aside an estimated $8.4 million annually in a trust fund.
When it comes to beach nourishment, usually the federal government pays the majority of the cost, while 35% of it is split between state and local governments. The trust fund money would be used to pay the state's portion for future projects.
Pedersen said while the state has done a great job so far of providing funds, this will ensure that continues.
"We want to make sure that when we get to that point eight or nine years from now, the next time beach renourishment comes up that we've got the money,” Pedersen said. “We've got not only our share of the money, but the state has its share of the money, so we'd rather have a bill of $4 million than $8 million."
The bill was introduced last month and is currently in the Senate committee on Fish, Game and Forestry.