NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) – The North Myrtle Beach City Council passed its second and final reading of the FY2021 budget on Monday night.
Leaders said adjustments had to be made to the original budget that was discussed during the city council’s February budget retreat, which occurred before the coronavirus pandemic. The original budget was $119 million, but on Monday, city councilmembers voted on an $89 million budget.
The budget includes a property tax rate increase. It was raised from 37.1 mils to 45 mils. But leaders added that it’s still the lowest property tax rate for a full-service city in Horry County and among the lowest in South Carolina.
The millage increase will allow for the city to pay over two years a short-term loan of $4.5 million in order to purchase 96 acres for the expansion of the North Myrtle Beach Parks and Sports Complex. The short-term loan was taken out before the pandemic.
The budget also includes freezing 41 full-time vacant and proposed employee positions, which saves the city $2.5 million.
The city will also save $8 million dollars by deferring the start of construction on fields and facilities for the expansion of the North Myrtle Beach Park and Sports Complex.
- Other budget reductions include:
- Delay large water and sewer projects at least until FY 2022, saving $6.5 million.
- Defer the 18th Avenue North Ocean Outfall project until October 2021, saving $9.5 million
- Delay the start of construction of the combined emergency operations and data center west of the Intracoastal Waterway, saving $2 million.
- Delay the placement of utilities underground in the Cherry Grove section as part of the Santee Cooper Underground Utilities Project, saving $1.75 million.