Atlantic Beach plans of new growth after receiving ARPA funds

Published: Nov. 3, 2022 at 7:19 PM EDT|Updated: Nov. 4, 2022 at 6:51 PM EDT
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ATLANTIC BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - New technology is heading to the town of Atlantic Beach, and with it comes new growth.

Safety and growth are two things many throughout the town are ready to see.

“Anything that’s improving the safety and the growth of Atlantic beach is a plus for the town of Atlantic Beach,” said John Sketers, an Atlantic Beach resident.

Sketers has lived in the historic African American town of Atlantic Beach for several decades. He said a positive change has been needed for a while.

“Anything that we can do to advance technology is welcome. Especially with all the issues going on today and the rate of crime.”

That’s the goal of a new grant the town will receive worth $488,840 dollars.

The money is part of the American Rescue Plan Act and is to be used to support infrastructure throughout Horry County.

“Well, it’s substantial,” said Benjamin Quattlebaum, the Town Manager of Atlantic Beach. “So we’ve gone after several major grants, in addition to this one to improve our infrastructure. From our stormwater system to our streets, and all of that, so this is an effort to improve and enhance the towns’ overall image and its all functionality.”

New enhancements throughout the town will include solar powered-LED street lights and light poles to be installed along 30th Avenue South.

These poles will be equipped with Wi-Fi, electric vehicle charging stations, speed cameras and LED advertising displays.

Sketers said he believes the street cameras and lights will benefit fellow residents and help law enforcement officers.

“You cannot put police everywhere, but these cameras will serve the purpose of that and I think it’s a great idea, and I think everybody whether they want to or not should endorse an idea like that, “he said the town will initially pay for the upgrades out of pocket, but the grant will reimburse all money spent, as long as everything is done in the next two years.

Quattlebaum said the members of the community have already played a significant role in the revitalization of the town, updating their residences and making sure to preserve the community’s rich history.

The town is already in the beginning phases of hiring an engineer for the project with hopes of having it complete within the following year.