SURFSIDE BEACH, SC (WBTW) - The Town of Surfside Beach will get almost $10M from the federal government to help rebuild the town pier, according to the town mayor, Bob Childs.
Surfside Beach leaders held a press conference regarding the pier's reconstruction Friday afternoon.
Hurricane Matthew destroyed over half of the pier in October 2016. Since then, the town has been back and forth with FEMA on how much money Surfside Beach could get.
Mayor Bob Childs had initially hoped the pier would be rebuilt by this summer, but it could take another year and a half. FEMA will contribute about $9.9M to help rebuild the pier with concrete instead of wood, a decision made by the town last summer.
"I along with council is really excited to see this finally come about it's been a long process as all of you are aware but dealing with different agencies you can imagine the difficulties" said Mayor Bob Childs.
Originally, FEMA rejected Surfside's request for this specific type of funding. However, Childs said state and local lawmakers like Senator Lindsey Graham, Congressman Tom Rice, Senator Steven Goldfind and Representative Russell Fry went to the national level to get the decision reversed. A consultant, paid for with taypayer money, was also used to communicate with the FEMA representatives.
"This is going to be such a great thing," said Councilman Randle Stevens. "I've been here all my life. I've watched three wood piers be destroyed by hurricanes since 1954. It's going to create a destination and that's what we talked about a few years ago, creating a destination."
Mayor Childs expects the pier to be built in a year and a half. The council will host a workshop in the next few weeks to further discuss the plans.
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