Surfside Beach Pier restoration project in jeopardy as FEMA deadline nears

Surfside Beach Pier restoration project in jeopardy as FEMA deadline nears
The Surfside Beach pier was damaged by Hurricane Matthew in 2016. (Source: WMBF file photo)

SURFSIDE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) – A major detail that was misinterpreted has put the Surfside Beach Pier restoration in jeopardy.

During the Surfside Beach Town Council meeting on Tuesday, the interim town administrator informed leaders that the pier project must be completed by Oct. 10, 2020, to receive the over $9 million in grant money from FEMA.

But town councilmembers had been under the impression that construction only had to start before that date in order to receive the FEMA funds.

“Obviously, we cannot complete the building of the pier in 20 days,” said Mayor Bob Hellyer in a post on Facebook. “Because of this new information, we will have to see if FEMA grants us the extension that we requested back in August.”

The town has applied for an 18-month grant extension, but they have not heard if they will receive that extension.

A couple of town councilmembers said that even if they do not get the extension and the FEMA money, they still want to move forward with the pier reconstruction.

In early September, the town council voted to award the construction contract to Consensus Construction. The company estimated that it would cost them about $14.6 million to build the pier that was destroyed by Hurricane Matthew in 2016.

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