Atlantic Beach approves 2022 Bikefest schedule, purchase of new police cars

Grand Strand

ATLANTIC BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — Atlantic Beach Town Council met Monday night to approve several items that were originally scheduled to be discussed last week.

The town approved a final reading of operational procedures for the May 2022 Atlantic Beach Memorial Day Black Pearl Cultural Heritage and Bike Festival, which is commonly referred to by participants and locals as “Atlantic Beach Bikefest” or “Black Bike Week.”

Slight changes to vendor operating hours were approved on Monday night.

Initial vendor hours ran from 3 p.m. to 2 a.m. on May 27, from 9 a.m. to 2 a.m. on May 28 and 29, and from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on May 30. Monday night’s vote pushes the end times to one hour later for each day.

Town Manager Benjamin Quattlebaum said the town is monitoring the latest COVID-19 variant and will make modifications to Bikefest moving forward if things escalate from a health and safety standpoint. Quattlebaum has recommended that certain events with bigger crowds, like stage shows, be eliminated because of health concerns.

If the event happens as scheduled, this would be the first official Bikefest since 2019. The past two events have been canceled due to the pandemic.

The council also approved Quattlebaum’s request for the purchase and financing of two Ford Explorer police vehicles. A 2017 model and a 2018 model will replace older vehicles in the fleet that have had mechanical problems. The combined price of both vehicles is about $52,000.

Council voted to move forward with plans to pay Bliss Products out of Chattanooga, TN, for improvements and renovations to Atlantic Beach’s park playground. This is located next to the community center. The town initially received a $150,000 Community Development Block Grant in 2020. Fencing work brings the total amount for the project closer to $162,000.

Quattlebaum also spoke about a proposed high-rise development by Morant Properties, LLC. that was brought up at a council meeting earlier in the year. Quattlebaum said he has not yet received any formal designs from the company about the project.

Atlantic Beach Police Chief Quentin Robinson provided a report on 2021 crime stats during Monday’s meeting. Quattlebaum tells News13 that narcotics activity “reduced substantially” and there were very few break-ins in the town. News13 has requested the full report.

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