In September 2017, Hurricane Irma sideswiped our nine miles of beach, eroding 200,000 cubic yards of sand and, in September 2018, Hurricane Florence eroded more sand. The good news is that a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers project replacing sand lost to Hurricane Irma occurred in December 2018, and in Spring 2019 the Corps will place more sand on our beach to make up for what was lost to Hurricane Florence.
Hurricane Florence tested everyone’s resolve but the City, its residents and property owners, and businesses rose to the occasion. Florence caused $1 million in private/public structural damage in our City but we avoided the massive flooding that affected other jurisdictions. While taking care of business here at home, City personnel also reached out to help many people in flooded jurisdictions.
In May 2018, the City celebrated its 50th Anniversary. A March 19, 1968, referendum designated the Towns of Cherry Grove Beach, Ocean Drive Beach, Crescent Beach and Windy Hill Beach as North Myrtle Beach. The name took effect March 26, 1968, the same day the new City Council took office. On May 7, 1968, the State issued a charter of incorporation. We are now a more complex city but have retained an enduring sense of family and hospitality that draws like-minded people to live, work and vacation here.
Sports tourism again enhanced our local economy. Ninety-one sports tourism events drew 87,600 participants and spectators, a direct economic impact of $29.6 million. $22.9 million of that revenue represents North Myrtle Beach Park & Sports Complex sports tourism events.
Investment in our community continues at a healthy pace. Building permits issued during FY 2018 had a construction value totaling $159 million, compared to $135 million in FY 2017 .
Construction of a $25 million infrastructure capital improvement program continued with widening and underground utility conversion of Ocean Boulevard in Crescent Beach, sewer system improvements in Ocean Drive, water system improvements in Cherry Grove, widening of 11th Avenue North, street resurfacing, sidewalk installation, and beach access improvements. Construction continued on $2 million of localized storm water improvements, and construction of the $12 million 18th Avenue North ocean outfall begins in the fall of 2020.
The City maintains healthy financial reserves, low debt, the lowest property tax rate in Horry County and one of the lowest in the state, and efficient staffing levels.
Your involvement in City activities and events ensures a positive future for North Myrtle Beach!