April Palmetto Police Motorcycle Skills Competition Raised $9,000 for Camp Happy Days

The 2016 Palmetto Police Motorcycle Skills Competition held April 6-9 at Barefoot Landing in North Myrtle Beach included a fundraising component for Camp Happy Days, which provides support and encouragement to children diagnosed with cancer and their families by providing cost free year-round programs, special events, and access to crisis resources.

North Myrtle Beach Police Chief Phil Webster,
LCPL Bobby Hall, LCPL Chris Shick,
Sgt Ray Pollock, Cindy Hay Johnson,
Myrtle Beach Police Sgt Jim Allen,
Horry County Police Cpl Jeffrey Todd,
North Myrtle Beach Public Safety Director Jay Fernandez.
On May 18, a check in the amount of $9,000 was presented to Cindy Hay Johnson, executive director of Camp Happy Days.

Since 1982, over 1,500 children with cancer and their families have benefitted from the cost-free, year-round programs at Camp Happy Days.

Thanks to all involved in the Palmetto Police Motorcycle Skills Competition, and to members of the public who donated to Camp Happy Days.

Explore Endangered Species through Painting and Sculpture Classes at the J. Bryan Floyd Community Center

Persons 10 years of age and older are invited to participate in painting and sculpting Endangered Species Art Classes at the J. Bryan Floyd Community Center, 1030 Possum Trot Road, North Myrtle Beach. No painting or sculpting experience is necessary.

Classes with instructor Stephanie Sellers will occur Thursdays from June 2 through August 18. Morning classes will focus on painting endangered species on 16” x 20” stretched canvases using acrylic paints. Afternoon classes will focus on sculpture classes using Air Dry Clay (a safe, nontoxic medium) to create 8” to 12” figures of endangered species. Students will leave each class with their own unique, completed works of art.

Participants will also learn interesting facts about the different endangered species they work on. For example, one can explore the majesty of the Humpback Whale surfacing along our coast via an acrylic paint class in the morning, then use the afternoon class to explore the Humpback Whale in true form in a clay sculpting class using Air Dry Clay.


All painting classes are 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m., and all sculpting classes are 1:30 p.m.-4:30 p.m.

  • June 30: FIN WHALE
  • August 4: HUMPBACK WHALE

The fee is $35 for each class. Preregistration is required to ensure space and materials. Email Stephanie Sellers at Gaumedup@gmail.com or call (919)353-2522. Pay Pal payments are accepted.

For more information, visit the Facebook group North Myrtle Beach SC, Explore Endangered Species in Sculpture and Painting Facebook or call the J. Bryan Floyd Community Center at (843) 280-5584

Proposed NMB FY 2017 Budget goes before City Council May 16 and May 23

The North Myrtle Beach City Council will consider first reading of the city’s proposed FY 2017 Budget during its regularly scheduled May 16 meeting at 7:00 p.m. at City Hall. City Council will consider second (final) reading of the proposed budget at a special called meeting on May 23, 2:00 p.m. The special called meeting is necessary because some Council members will be out of town during the month of June.

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 about six 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 storm water drainage 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 may be able to tackle many of the storm water projects included in the first two priority groups during FY 2017, with the rest being accomplished in FY 2018 and FY 2019.

The continued addition of sidewalks and multipurpose paths in the city is also part of the proposed budget. Since 1995, the city has installed 34 miles of sidewalks. The FY 2017 Budget proposes additional sidewalks and paths for the East Coast Greenway along Water Tower Road near Barefoot Resort & Golf.

NMB Public Safety Officer Keith Williams invites Windy Hill Residents to a May 14 "Meet Your Public Safety Officer" Event at Yow Park

North Myrtle Beach Public Safety Officer Keith Williams invites Windy Hill residents to join him on Saturday, May 14, 9am-11am, at Yow Park, 508 Windy Hill Road, to meet him and other Police Officers and Supervisors who patrol the Windy Hill neighborhood daily. (Some of the public safety employees will be joined by their families.) The event will include a bouncy house and prizes for kids, patrol cars, and an opportunity for residents to ask questions and get to know some of the Public Safety Officers who care about and keep your community safe.

Officer Keith Williams joined the Public Safety Department in August 2015. Prior to that, he served in the United States Marine Corps as a Military Policeman and retired with the rank of Sergeant Major in 2012 after 25 years of service.

One of the greatest honors in his life was to serve as a Marine, during which time he completed several combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.

After retiring from the Marine Corps, he served as a law enforcement officer in San Diego, CA for two years before deciding to head east to be closer to family.

Officer Williams was raised in Burlington, NC and married his high school sweetheart, Dawn. They have been married for 25 years and have three children, ages 10, 16 and 20.

In describing his objectives for his Windy Hill community focus, Officer Williams said, "I want residents to know that I am here to serve and protect all of them. I want to meet everyone and get to know their needs and concerns. If they see me driving around, they can feel free to stop me to ask any questions, express concerns, or just say hello."

Officer Williams added that, if he doesn't know the answer to a question offhand, he will  "research it, find the answer, and get back to you."

Hope you can make it to Yow Park on May 14!

NMB Tree City Board presents its May Tree of the Month Award to City Councilman J. O. Baldwin

The North Myrtle Beach Tree City Board has presented its May 2016 Tree of the Month Award to City Councilman Jay Baldwin for protecting and preserving a collection of very old Live Oak trees on his property at 404 14th Avenue South.

L-R  Ron Bruce, Dee Myers, Sean Hoelscher,
Caroline Driggers, Dexter Allen, Ruth Anne Ellis,
Tom Walker, and Jim Grainger
The property was originally owned by Baldwin’s grandparents, and he remembers the trees being sizeable when he would visit them as a young boy. His grandparents were the owners of the original 1940’s house that was built on the property, and they lived in the home until the 1990s.

When Baldwin decided to move to the location in 2000, he determined that the 1940s home could not be saved, so he demolished it and rebuilt on the site. He purposely designed his new house to sit among the grand old oaks in such a way as to preserve every tree. One tree, however, proved to be too close to the planned home, and acting on advice from the Clemson Extension Service, he dug up the tree, keeping as many of its roots intact as possible, and replanted it. He used a backhoe to dig a hole for the 15 foot wide root ball. The tree lived for another six years in its new location before succumbing to drought conditions around 2007. The remaining trees continue to thrive on his lot.

The North Myrtle Beach Tree City Board salutes Councilman Baldwin for his understanding of the value of the trees on his property, and his willingness to take extra measures to protect what are some of the more historic trees in the city. 

Property owners and developers who are interested in finding out more about how they can preserve trees on their property are invited to contact the Board at nmbtreeboard@nmb.us or 843-280-5571.

The Tree of the Month program began in 2010 as a way to recognize trees within the community that have been preserved over the years. It also provides a platform to remind people of the benefits and importance that trees offer in our everyday lives.

If you think you have the biggest, prettiest, or most unusual tree in North Myrtle Beach, or that your tree has a unique story attached to it, the Tree City Board encourages you to contact Parks & Grounds Superintendent Jim Grainger at (843) 280-5571 or via email at nmbtreeboard@nmb.us

North Myrtle Beach Farmers Market Opens May 6

The North Myrtle Beach Farmers Market season is May 6-October 28. The market will be open on Fridays, 10am-3pm.

The North Myrtle Beach Farmers Market is located at 925 1st Avenue South, between the Library and City Hall.

The North Myrtle Beach Farmers Market is part of the Waccamaw Market Cooperative (WMC), an incorporated 501c3 nonprofit organization responsible for coordinating and managing community based farmer’s markets throughout Horry and Georgetown Counties. Under the guidance of the Clemson Cooperative Extension, WMC has grown to include regional network of markets sponsored in partnership with public and private organizations throughout the region. The resulting structured market network ensures that virtually all communities in the Waccamaw Region benefit from access to fresh fruits and vegetables that farmers markets offer.

Public markets are not just places of commerce. Successful markets help grow and connect urban and rural economies. They encourage development, enhance real estate values and the tax base, and keep money in the local neighborhood. Public markets also offer low-risk business opportunities for vendors and feed money back into the rural economy where many vendors grow, raise and produce their products.

The spin-off benefits of markets are numerous. From increasing access to fresh, healthy food to providing important revenue streams, markets positively impact local businesses, governments and residents. But, perhaps most important is the way markets serve as public gathering places for people from different ethnic, cultural, and socioeconomic communities. As one of the few places where people comfortably gather and meet, markets are our neighborhoods’ original civic centers.

RESULTS: May 2 North Myrtle Beach City Council Meeting

During the May 2 North Myrtle Beach City Council meeting, Mayor Marilyn Hatley presented a proclamation directing that all flags on City buildings be flown at half-staff on May 15, which is Peace Officers Memorial Day.

Mayor Hatley said that members of the City’s public safety department play an essential role in safeguarding the rights and freedoms for all citizens in the community. She reminded citizens of the duties, responsibilities, hazards and sacrifices of the community’s law enforcement officers.

In 1962, President John F. Kennedy signed a proclamation which designated May 15 as Peace Officers Memorial Day and the week in which that date falls as Police Week. During Police Week, tens of thousands of law enforcement officers from around the world converge on Washington, DC to participate in a number of planned events which honor officers who have paid the ultimate sacrifice.

City Council tabled until its June 6 meeting 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.

City Council tabled until its June 6 meeting 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,L-R: Mayor Marilyn Hatley, Public Safety Officer Jonathan Espanol, Public Safety Director Jay Fernandez 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.

City Council tabled until its June 6 meeting 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

City Council adopted a Resolution to exercise the City's option to extend the lease between the City and Midcon Cable Co. Inc. In April of 2014 the City leased a portion of its warehouse located on the corner of 6th Avenue South and Bay Street to Midcon for a term of two years with an annual lease rate of $156,896. The lease rate increased per a lease formula.

Midcon requested that the City exercise its option to extend the lease for an additional two year term from April 1, 2016 through March 31, 2018 with an annual lease rate beginning at $166,451.16. The rate will increase the second year of the lease extension via a formula contained in the lease.

City Council passed first reading of an ordinance to authorize the addition of a third parasail boat to the Parasail and Banana Boat Franchise granted to Randle Duke. Council previously authorized Duke to operate a parasail and banana boat business from the beach in the vicinity of Sea Mountain Highway and Ocean Boulevard.

When the franchise was first awarded to Duke, the agreement authorized the use of three parasail boats and a $45,000 franchise fee. Thereafter, Duke requested that the agreement be amended to allow only two parasail boats and a $15,000 reduction of the franchise fee from $45,000 to $30,000. Council agreed to the requested amendment.

On April 15, 2016, Duke requested that the agreement be amended again to allow the use of three parasail boats. City staff informed Duke that it would present the requested amendment to City Council but the amendment would also include a $15,000 fee increase from $30,000 per year to $45,000 per year.

City Council passed first reading of an amendment to the Zoning Text to create a new inland multifamily zoning district (R-4i) to allow multifamily and non-medical commercial or office uses on properties not adjacent to the oceanfront.

Council directed staff to investigate creating a new zoning district similar to R-4 that would allow multi-family, but at lesser intensities and shorter building heights for properties away from the oceanfront. As a result, staff has proposed a text amendment to the Zoning Ordinance to create a new inland multi-family zoning district to be called R-4i (Inland Multifamily Residential).

Resembling R-4, the new district's purpose statement references a need to provide for reduced intensity multi-family in areas inland from the ocean, which are distinctly different from resort-style development represented along the oceanfront or with an ocean view. The purpose of the proposed R-4i district is to allow multi-family similar to the R-4 zoning district, but with less intensity for inland locations; however, not at the expense of visibility and access by the community to the ocean or the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway.

City Council passed first reading of an ordinance to rezone one lot containing about 1.22 acres located at the corner of Vereen Road and Bay Colony Drive from R-24 (Mid-Rise Multifamily Residential) to NC (Neighborhood Commercial).

The vacant, unimproved property is zoned R-24. It is adjacent to the current single-family Marina Bay subdivision, which is zoned R24, and is surrounded by HC (Highway Commercial) to the east and LI
(Limited Industrial) to the north.

The Future Land Use Map in the City's 2010 Comprehensive Plan Update identifies this area with a "Marina Mixed Use" land use class. The proposed zoning district, NC, is a recommended zoning district of this particular land use class.

City Council adopted a Resolution to exercise the City's option to extend a Banana Boat Franchise Agreement between the City and Jeff Ray regarding the operation of a banana boat business on the beach in the area seaward of North Beach Plantation.

The agreement, entered into in April 2011, authorized Ray to operate a banana boat business on the beach seaward of the dune line in the area of North Beach Plantation. The original term of the agreement was for a term of five years, which will expire December 31, 2016.

Article II, Section I of the agreement allows the City the option to extend the agreement for an additional five year term and Ray requested that the City exercise that option. The additional five year term begins January 1, 2017 and expires December 31, 2021.

The franchise fee for 2017 will be $21,000 and will increase by five percent successively for each year of the extended term.