Parking meter fees bring improvements to Downtown MB

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - After collecting just over $1 million in gross revenue from parking meter fees across Myrtle Beach, officials with the Myrtle Beach Downtown Redevelopment Corporation say they're looking to use some of that money to spruce up the waterfront.

David Sebok, of the MBDRC, says Myrtle Beach City Council will consider a resolution to accept more than $255,000 from the organization to help foot the bill for ongoing improvement projects across the area. Sebok says the organization was able to make the contribution because 2010 was the first year a net profit of $250,000 was made off of the fees.

Officials say some of the money has already been used to replace sidewalk along 9th Avenue North near Ocean Boulevard, in addition to working nearly 5,000 plants into the landscape around the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk. Sebok says other downtown improvements include changes to some intersections to allow for easier foot and car traffic, in addition to bathroom trailers along Ocean Boulevard.

While short-term projects are a large focus of the money, bigger improvements projects like landscaping along 3rd Avenue South are in the works.

"That's been designed," Sebok said. "It's ready to be bid [on]. We just need the construction money and to have that coordinated with the state project that goes from Kings Highway to US-501."

Pop Dates, who has been visiting Myrtle Beach for 25 years, says he thinks the DRC is putting their extra cash flow to good use.

"I think it should [also] be going towards parks and recreation [and] facilities like the new boardwalk and the [SkyWheel] going up," he said. "Attractions that bring people down - quality, first class attractions."

Officials with the DRC say plans are also in the works to construct a permanent bathroom facility on Ocean Boulevard. Sebok says that is not expected to make progress until after the tourist season ends.

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