Ride 3 Sales Tax Commission of Horry County Holds March 31 Drop-In at NMB City Hall

On Thursday, March 31, 5pm-7pm, the Ride 3 Sales Tax Commission of Horry County will host a drop-in information session at North Myrtle Beach City Hall to talk about road projects being considered for the November 16 ballot. The public is invited to attend, discuss plans with commission representatives, view maps and offer feedback on the list of road projects.

The commission will submit the final list of road projects in priority order by May 17, 2016. If passed by voters in November, a one percent sales tax will go into effect for eight years beginning on May 1, 2017.


The 11th Annual Mayfest on Main® Festival will be held May 7 on Main Street in North Myrtle Beach. Vendors who would like to participate must register with the North Myrtle Beach Parks & Recreation department by April 15.

Applications for homemade arts & crafts, professional, nonprofit organization, food, and other vendors are available online at http://parks.nmb.us/

Completed applications, together with appropriate fees made payable to the City of North Myrtle Beach, should be mailed to Mayfest on Main, NMB Parks & Recreation Department, 1018 2nd Avenue South, North Myrtle Beach, SC 29582.

The festival begins at 10:00 a.m. and ends at 6:00 p.m., giving locals and tourists all day to browse various food and craft vendors while children can enjoy rides and games in the kid’s area.

This one day rain or shine event attracts about 15,000 people to celebrate the beginning of summer. A community stage will offer live music and performances from 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. Beginning at 12:30 p.m. the main stage line-up includes Mother’s Finest followed by Dr. W at 2:00 p.m. and ending with the legendary band, Mickey Thomas’ Starship, starting at 4:00 p.m.

RESULTS: March 21 North Myrtle Beach City Council Meeting

During the March 21 North Myrtle Beach City Council meeting, two city employees were provided with Longevity Awards for their length of service to residents, businesses and visitors. The awards are provided in five year increments to city employees who consistently provide excellent customer service. Receiving the awards were Building Official Delane Stevens (15 years) and Master Electrical Inspector Gordon Windham (10).

During the meeting, Senior Planner Sean Hoelscher received the city’s Employee of the Month Award. Sean has been providing valuable in-house design services in support of multiple city projects managed by the planning and development, public works, and parks and recreation departments. Also, Sean recently passed exams to become a licensed landscape architect, a certified floodplain manager, and a certified arborist. Sean has worked for the city for seven years.

A Resolution expressing the city’s annual support of efforts to curb child abuse and neglect nationally and locally was included on the March 21 meeting agenda but was moved to Council’s first meeting in April, which is the time frame in which it is normally presented.

City Council approved a request by the Society of Stranders for a special event permit for group’s Spring Safari Parade, to be held April 23, 1:00 p.m-4:00 p.m. on Main Street.

City Council approved a request by the Wellness Council for South Carolina for a special event permit for the Earth Day 5K Run to be held April 23, 7:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m., at Barefoot Resort and Marina.

City Council approved a request by Continental Event & Sports Management for a special event permit for the 5th Annual Divas® Half Marathon & 5K to be held April 29-May1. April 29 and 30 will be devoted to participant events. The Divas® Half Marathon & 5K will be held May 1 from 7:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

The Divas® Half Marathon Series is held annually in North Myrtle Beach, SC; Galveston, TX; Branson, MO; San Francisco Bay, CA; Peachtree City, GA; DC's Wine Country, VA; Long Island, NY; San Juan, PR; St. Augustine Beach, FL; and Temecula, CA.

The Divas® Half Marathon & 5K series embraces a full weekend experience that caters specifically to women.

City Council also passed a Resolution approving Mutual Aid Agreements that allow for the temporary transfer of officers from 16 jurisdictions to North Myrtle Beach to provide law enforcement support to help manage traffic and other impacts that the Town of Atlantic Beach event, Bike Fest, has on the city. Bike Fest will be held May 27-30.

City Council passed second (final) reading of an ordinance to amend the Public Trees Ordinance text, Section 19-56 thru 64, to address revisions recommended by the North Myrtle Beach Tree City Board. The board is tasked with a review and/or revision of the public tree ordinance every two years in order for North Myrtle Beach to maintain its Tree City USA status.

The revisions bring the public tree ordinance up to date by removing obsolete terms and definitions, updating the process by which a public tree may be removed, allowing for the pruning of private trees encroaching into the public right of way, updating the annual work plan, and identifying the public safety department as the enforcement mechanism for the ordinance.

City Council passed second reading of an ordinance to approve the "Master Trust Indenture" for the Cherry Grove Municipal Improvement District (Dredging Project), which is a step forward in obtaining financing for the project.

The ordinance approves a Master Trust Indenture ("MTI") for the Cherry Grove Municipal Improvement District ("District") financing, and authorizes the Mayor and City Manager to execute and deliver the MTI upon the issuance of the first series of bonds for the District this year.

The ordinance establishes the mechanics for issuing and paying the bonds, and will be presented to financial institutions, which may have an interest in providing the financing.

Once a lender has been chosen, the final details of the bonds will be set forth in a "supplemental Resolution", which must also be approved by Council. After that, financing can proceed to closing.

City Council tabled until its May 2 meeting the second reading of an ordinance to annex and zone one lot located adjacent to the Parkway Group PDD (PDD), which is located west of the Intracoastal Waterway. Council wants to wait until an associated Development Agreement has been completed before giving second reading to the proposed annexation and zoning.

Baird Stewart, authorized agent for LStar Communities and NGD Property I/II, LLC, has petitioned the city for annexation of about 60.69 acres of property adjacent to the Waterway Hills section of the PDD. The parcel is currently within unincorporated Horry County. The petition also reflects the requested city zoning district of Planned Development District (PDD) by joining with the existing Parkway Group PDD.

The property is contiguous to the corporate boundary of the city and is zoned Commercial Forest Agriculture under Horry County’s jurisdiction. The property is vacant and unimproved. Surrounding land uses are vacant and a former golf course.

City Council tabled until its May 2 meeting the second reading of an ordinance for a major amendment to the Parkway Group Planned Development District (PDD) to allow changes to the previously approved phase known as the Waterway Hills Tract and to add a newly annexed area known as the Wilson Chestnut Tract. The area is referred to as “Grande Dunes North” in the PDD, which is located west of the Intracoastal Waterway. Council wants to wait until an associated Development Agreement has been completed before giving second reading to the proposed ordinance.

The proposed amendment reduces the previously approved density for the property from a maximum of 2,500 residential dwelling units to 858 units over a total combined area of 241.46 acres, a 65 percent reduction in housing density.

Grande Dunes North would be a private, gated neighborhood with private roadways using a guard at the entrance gate. The development would be constructed in six phases. Phase I would be the Entrance Parkway and Grande Dunes Connection, Community Amenity, and 119 residential units. Phase II would be north of Phase I along the Intracoastal Waterway. Phase III and Phase V would be north of the Entrance Parkway and Phases IV and VI would be located south of the Entrance Parkway.

City Council tabled until its May 2 meeting the second reading of an ordinance to amend the Parkway Group Planned Development District (PDD) to allow changes to the previously approved residential tracts known as Seashore Farms and L.L. Chestnut, referred to as “Waterside” in the PDD. Council wants to wait until an associated Development Agreement has been completed before giving second reading of the proposed ordinance.

The Waterside development would be constructed in 10 phases. Phase I is the most complete and plans have been provided to the city for review. Phases II through X will require further review and amendments prior to construction.

Phase I of Waterside includes three proposed neighborhoods— Pinnacle Ridge, Copper Creek and Copper Meadow. When completed, Pinnacle Ridge and Copper Creek will offer a variety of housing options, such as detached single-family homes, neighborhood commercial areas, and attached single-family and multifamily homes. These neighborhoods would be connected by roadways and multi-purpose paths.

City Council passed first reading of an ordinance to amend the lease agreement between the city and Apex Water Park, LLC, the company that will offer a wakeboarding facility on the northern part of the lake located at the North Myrtle Beach Park & Sports Complex.

Apex requests that the leased area also include a small portion of land (about .08 acres) adjacent to the lake that would accommodate the placement of a building to serve as an observation area for guests and visitors. Apex anticipates that it will serve prepackaged food and beer and wine to its guests within the observation building.

Apex also requests that the leased area include an additional area of the lake parallel to the Go Ape zip line for the operation of a wake-surf boat. The motorboat will not exceed 12 mph when in operation, and its wake will be used to teach people to surf.

Apex requests the lease be amended to allow for the placement of outside advertising signs or banners on each of the towers supporting the cable system for the wake ski amenity; on the ramps and sliders floating on the lake; and on the railings around the observation building, the pro shop and the motor control buildings.

The lease would also be amended to provide that all sponsorship revenues will be considered part of the gross revenues under the lease.

City Council passed first reading of an ordinance to amend the Zoning Ordinance text in Sections 23-42 and 23-36 regarding overflow parking.

The proposed amendment would exempt parking lots intended as noncommercial surplus or overflow parking in association with another use from having to be improved with concrete or asphalt. To qualify for the exemption, the parking stalls would have to be located on a parcel of land that is separate from the principal use it supports, and could not contain stalls otherwise required to satisfy the minimum parking requirement of that use. Additional performance criteria would also have to be met.

If the proposed amendment passes second reading, it would still require parking lots intended as a commercial, principal use of land to meet all the improvement standards, meaning concrete or asphalt, and the use of landscaping would also apply.

City Council passed first reading of an ordinance to amend the Zoning Ordinance text in Sections 23-18 and 23-36 to exempt banners as prohibited signage within public parks and sports complexes.

The North Myrtle Beach Park & Sports Complex is unique to any other public use that the city has historically managed. There are numerous accessory uses within the park, and the sign ordinance as currently written does not address signage for such a use, nor any of the accessory uses.

Various commercial attractions need flexibility for corporate signage, and the city needs flexibility to review and approve corporate and/or sponsorship sign packages for the various attractions. The proposed changes would allow the city manager to approve comprehensive sign packages for accessory uses within public park and sports complexes, consistent with lease agreements between the city and given attractions.

NMB Public Safety Department’s February “Sock it to Winter” campaign was a big success!

During the month of February, the North Myrtle Beach Public Safety Department ran a “Sock it to Winter” campaign in an effort to collect new socks to provide to homeless youths in the North Myrtle Beach area. With the help of Wyndham Vacation Resorts Towers on the Grove, Upward Bound/Horry Georgetown Technical College, and the community at large, the department was able to collect over 1,000 pairs of new socks.

Photo by Amanda Heim.
The department partnered with Sea Haven, Inc. to help distribute the new socks to homeless youths.

We congratulate the North Myrtle Beach Public Safety Department and all who contributed to this effort!

34th Annual North Myrtle Beach Community Easter Egg Hunt is March 26, 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m., at McLean Park

The 38th Annual North Myrtle Beach Community Easter Egg Hunt will be held Saturday, March 26, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m., at McLean Park (93 Oak Drive) in North Myrtle Beach. The egg begins at 10:00 a.m. sharp.

Egg hunt areas are divided by age groups (infant and above), and there are many other activities for all ages.  The North Strand Optimist Club will provide refreshments.

The Easter Bunny will make a special visit to McLean Park to hand out candy to all the children that attend.  Participants are encouraged to wear their Easter best to have their photo made with Ms. Blossom. The North Strand Optimist Club will provide refreshments.

This is a very popular event with hundreds of kids participating each year. There is limited parking at McLean Park, and participants are advised to arrive early, park in the Main Street area, then walk to the park.

The event is a combined effort of the North Myrtle Beach Parks & Recreation Department, North Myrtle Beach Chamber of Commerce, North Strand Optimist Club, North Myrtle Beach Lions Club, Keep North Myrtle Beach Beautiful, Driftwood Keep America Beautiful Kids, North Myrtle Beach High School Clubs, North Myrtle Beach Public Safety Department, and many individual volunteers. 

Volunteers are always welcome to help with the Easter Egg Hunt from 8:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m. For more information contact Gregg Barnhill, dgbarnhill@nmb.us, or call (843) 280-567.

RESULTS: North Myrtle Beach FY 2017 Budget Retreat

The North Myrtle Beach City Council held its FY 2017 budget retreat March 7-8 at Santee Cooper’s Wampee Conference Center in Pinopolis, SC.

The City’s budget year runs from July 1 to June 30.

The proposed FY 2017 budget includes Governmental Funds (general fund, special revenue funds, capital improvement funds, debt service fund) expenditures of $54,088,271 and Enterprise Funds expenditures of $39,727,931 for a total of $93,816,202 in budgeted expenditures for all funds.

The proposed 2017 budget is $13,656,195 million more than the fiscal year FY 2016 budget, due primarily to various street improvements, major water and sewer projects, storm water management improvement initiatives and other projects.

During the budget retreat, City Council discussed a proposed property tax increase of two mills, which would generate about $750,000 annually, primarily to help pay for four new public safety employees, and enhanced paving and maintenance of the City’s roads.

An increase of two mills in the property tax equates to $8 annually for each $100,000 of residential home value.

The City’s current property tax rate is 39.3 mills, which includes 6.2 mills that will be cut in October 2019 when the bond issue for the construction of the North Myrtle Beach Park & Sports Complex has been paid off. The proposed two mills property tax increase would bring the City’s tax rate to 41.3 mills, still the lowest tax rate in Horry County and one of the lowest in the state.

Currently, Surfside Beach offers a property tax rate of 46.2 mills, Briarcliff Acres 50.8 mills, Horry County 50.87 mills, Aynor 60.8 mills, Myrtle Beach 74.5 mills, Conway 82.4 mills, Atlantic Beach 84.5 mills, Loris 115 mills, and the Horry County School District 133.1 mills.

City Council also discussed a proposed $2 increase in the City’s monthly storm water management fee, which would be applied to local storm water improvement projects and would also help fund the next ocean outfall project at 18th Avenue North, construction of which is scheduled to begin in FY 2019 at a cost of about $11 million. The City will have four or five ocean outfall projects remaining after the 18th Avenue North project has been completed, and the fee increase will also help to begin to fund those projects.

The storm water management fee is currently $6 per month for a single family home and would increase to $8 per month. The fee is currently $4 per month for a condo unit and would increase to $5.50 per month.

Some additional highlights for the proposed FY 2017 Budget include the bond issue for the Cherry Grove dredging project; a final payment on a $1.2 million platform fire truck; in-house capital improvement projects; and more than $1.5 million in road paving projects.

Some additional projects include the widening of Ocean Boulevard in the Crescent Beach section, placing overhead utilities underground in the same area, and improvements to 11th Avenue North.

City Council also reviewed $1.7 million in proposed storm water improvement projects. The projects represent the City’s response to many storm water management challenges that arose during the historically heavy rains experienced in North Myrtle Beach during September and October of 2015. Projects that would most likely have to be contracted out were prioritized into four groups. A fifth group was created containing projects that the City can accomplish using in-house personnel and equipment.

Thus far, City Council has determined that the City could tackle many of the storm water projects in the first two priority groups during FY 2017, with the rest being accomplished in FY 2018 and FY 2019.

Continued addition of sidewalks in the city is also part of the proposed budget. Since 1995, the City has installed 34 miles of sidewalks. Additional sidewalks and paths proposed for the FY 2017 budget include an addition to the East Coast Greenway along Water Tower Road (near Barefoot Resort & Golf), along Robert Edge Parkway west of the bridge, and along Little River Neck Road.

Traveling Bob Hope Exhibit Opens May 1 at the North Myrtle Beach Area Historical Museum

“Bob Hope: An American Treasure”, a traveling exhibit celebrating the life and times of the Guinness Book of Records "most honored" man, will open to the public on May 1 at the North Myrtle Beach Area Historical Museum, 799 2nd Avenue North in North Myrtle Beach. The exhibit was created by the World Golf Hall of Fame in St. Augustine, FL.

"It is an honor for the Museum to be able to host the exhibit about legendary entertainer Bob Hope,” Museum Board Chairman Dick Hester said. “From soldiers to U.S. Presidents, Bob Hope touched the lives of Americans in a way no other celebrity could—with laughter.”

Hope's story is narrated in first-person comedy, combining anecdotes, quotes, jokes and stories from all aspects of his life. The exhibit includes more than 200 vintage photos and seven video displays that chronicle Hope’s early years as part of an immigrant family in the early 20th century; his rise as a star of stage, screen and radio; the relationships he had with U.S. presidents; his devotion to the U.S. military; and his love of golf.

"Bob Hope: An American Treasure" has toured the U.S. and England, but has never been displayed on the East Coast. In addition to having been displayed at Wings Over the Rockies Air and Space Museum in Denver, CO, the exhibit has been shown at the National World War II Museum in New Orleans; the Gerald Ford Presidential Library in Grand Rapids, MI; and the Green Bay Packers Museum in Green Bay, WI.

According to Museum Board Chairman Dick Hester, the exhibit rental fee is $45,000 and shipping costs exceed $18,000, all of which have been paid for through donations. The museum received a grant from the Bob and Delores Hope Foundation to cover the entire rental fee. The City of North Myrtle Beach has provided $7,500 in accommodation tax funds toward the shipping costs, and a $12,000 transportation grant from the Hope Foundation will pay the balance of the transport fee to safely truck the exhibit from Denver to North Myrtle Beach.

"We're counting on our community to help make the exhibit a success in South Carolina," Hester said. “Although the Museum received grants for the exhibit and for transportation, additional funds are needed to help promote the exhibit to the rest of South Carolina and to our neighbors in North Carolina.”

Sponsorship levels range from “Par Sponsor” at $500 to “Hole-in-One Sponsor” at $5,000.

Interested persons are asked to contact Museum Director Jenean Todd for more information at 843.427.7668 or director@NMBmuseum.com.

North Myrtle Beach welcomes top Prep School Basketball Teams

The USA National Prep Basketball Tournament will be held March 3-5 at the J. Bryan Floyd Community Center, 1030 Possum Trot Road.  Fifty-one Prep School basketball teams from South Carolina, North Carolina, New York, Tennessee, Georgia, Virginia, Indiana, Maryland and New Jersey will compete in the tournament.  This is the fourth year USA National Prep has hosted its event in North Myrtle Beach. 

Admission is $12 per day, $20 for a two day pass, or $30 for a three day pass. 

For a list of teams and tournament brackets for the USA National Prep Basketball Tournament, visit www.usanationalprep.com.

Participating Schools:

American Basketball Institute (GA)                              Prestige Prep School (NJ)
Moravian Prep School (NC) - 3 Teams                         Combine Prep School (NC) - 3 Teams
Combine Prep School-Atlanta (GA) - 3 Teams            Tennessee Prep-(TN) - 2 teams
Georgia Prep (GA)                                                        Forest Trail School(NC) – 2 teams
Indiana Prep (IN)                                                          Bryant & Stranton (VA)
Concord Prep (NC)                                                       Mount Zion Christian Academy (NC) - 4 teams
S.O.E Prep (NC) - 2 teams                                            South Side (VA)
Raleigh Swish City Prep (NC)                                      Our Saviour New American (NY) 
Upper Room Christian (NY) - 3 teams                         Our Saviour Lutheran (NY)
National Christian (MD) - 3 teams                               Comenius School (SC) - 3 Teams
Legacy Charter School (SC) - 2 teams                          York Prep (SC) 
Faith Baptist School (GA)                                             Faith Assembly (NC) 
Bull City Prep High (NC) - 2 teams                              Genesis Academy (VA)
New Garden Friends School (NC)                                St.Ignatious School (SC)
Piedmont Classical (NC)

Sales in 2015 Earn CENTURY 21 Thomas CENTURION® Office Award for Production

CENTURY 21 Thomas announced today that Century 21 Real Estate LLC recently recognized the office with the CENTURION Office Award for production for its impressive sales in 2015.  The CENTURION Award is presented to independent CENTURY 21® System offices that achieve or surpass sales production of $2,053,000 or 436 closed transaction sides within a calendar year.

"The individual efforts and dedication displayed by each member of CENTURY 21 Thomas in achieving this significant accomplishment are to be commended," said Rick Davidson, president and Chief Executive Officer, Century 21 Real Estate LLC.  "Through the CENTURION Office award, the CENTURY 21 System is able to recognize the outstanding achievements of its franchisees."

This is the 13th year CENTURY 21 Thomas has received this award. CENTURY 21 Thomas is a full-service independent brokerage specializing in residential, luxury and commercial properties.

Individual agents also were recognized for outstanding performance (designating various levels of sales performance), including:
  • The Bellamy Team—CENTURION Award
  • Scott Mathews—CENTURION Agent; Office Realtor of the Year; President’s Producer; Quality Service Pinnacle Producer
  • Sandy Rainwater—Masters Diamond
  • John Creel—Masters Ruby; Quality Service Pinnacle Producer
  • David Hyatt—Masters Ruby; Quality Service Producer Award
  • Sarah Richardson—Masters Ruby; Quality Service Provider Award
  • John Jaskolka—Quality Service Pinnacle Producer
  • Jeannie Turner—Quality Service Pinnacle Producer
  • Sheri Wooten—Quality Service Pinnacle Award
  • Sheila Blazer—Quality Service Producer Award
  • Carrier Hall—Quality Service Producer Award
  • Alyssa Holmes—Quality Service Producer Award
  • Nancy Richardson—Quality Service Producer Award
  •  Mahala Pearsall—Quality Service Producer Award

About CENTURY 21 Thomas
CENTURY 21 Thomas, which was established in 1962, takes pride in personalized service and exceeding client expectations. It has offices at 625 Sea Mountain Highway and 404-A Main St. in North Myrtle Beach, S.C., and 440 Highway 90 E., Suite 1, in Little River. S.C.
It is an independently owned and operated franchise affiliate of CENTURY 21 Real Estate LLC (century21.com), the iconic brand and franchisor with the largest global network in the residential real estate industry including approximately 6,900 independent offices worldwide in 78 countries and territories worldwide and more than 101,000 independent sales professionals.

For more information on CENTURY 21 Thomas, call 866-241-2100 or go to century21thomas.com.