Surfside Beach Town Council votes to rescind pier bid, apply for FEMA grant extension

Surfside Beach Town Council votes to rescind pier bid, apply for FEMA grant extension
Surfside Beach Pier

SURFSIDE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) – The search is on for a new company to rebuild the Surfside Beach Pier.

The Surfside Beach Town Council held a special meeting Monday morning where councilmembers voted to rescind a vote on July 1 that awarded the bid to Orion/FBi.

The town of Surfside Beach is looking to reconstruct the pier which was destroyed by Hurricane Matthew in 2016.

This comes after Mayor Bob Hellyer and two other town councilmembers filed a lawsuit against their fellow councilmembers, claiming that the vote on July 1 violated the Freedom of Information Act because it wasn’t on the agenda.

The Pier Restoration Project will be open for a rebid for 10 days and once that closes, councilmembers will evaluate the new bid submissions and move forward.

Town councilmembers also voted in favor of applying for an extension of the FEMA grant that will help fund the majority of the pier reconstruction costs. As it stands now, construction must start before Oct. 15 or the town will lose the FEMA funding.

The town administrator will provide information at the next town council meeting on the extension.

Hellyer also addressed what he called “propaganda” in the community, claiming that the town council is trying to stop the building of the pier.

“This could not be further from the truth. What we are working to do is protect the interest of the Town by ensuring the process and procedures are followed properly; more specifically, to make sure that: a) we have the money, b) we limit liability from change orders, c) protect the Town from future litigation, and d) protect our residents from higher taxes and unknown expenditures. We want to proceed with this process in an expedient manner,” Hellyer posted on Facebook.

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