MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – The city of Myrtle Beach looks to increase its budget by $3 million in 2020. The plan focuses on public safety and solid waste management.
$1.1 million will go to the police department, making room for 10 new officers and reorganizing current officers’ salaries to help with retention, a problem the department had in the past.
“We’ve been able to increase our force now by 20 officers and we’ve been able to retain our officers at a much, much higher rate and we’ve been very successful with recruitment. That’s the main thing but that comes with a price tag which was included in this budget,” John Pedersen, Myrtle Beach city manager said.
The $1.1 million will be funded by a property tax increase ranging from $11 to $90, depending on the home’s value.
However, Chief Amy Prock says the additional funding will help fill holes in the department.
“We’re excited to get the ten additional officers and being able to address the areas that we feel need to be addressed and connect with our community, provide that community policing that we are so committed to and those partnerships that we need to,” Prock said.
Myrtle Beach also budgeted nearly $1.4 million for solid waste management. This will cost the average resident an extra $5 a month.
The money will help hire additional sanitation employees, including one who will enforce the city’s solid waste collection laws.
“We have a number of ordinances that have been on the books for a long time, requiring you to pull your Pelicans in after the trash is picked up, but we really haven’t had a way to enforce that,” Pedersen said.
The budget would also address the city’s aging sewer and water infrastructure. Proposed water rates would increase by seven percent and sewer rates would increase by five percent.
The proposed budget will go through second reading at a future council meeting.