MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – The City of Myrtle Beach proposed an across the board raise for city employees in 2018, but now officials say the budget may not allow for the pay increase.
In light of the city’s multimillion dollar investment in the Superblock area, News13 asked officials how the changes in the Five Points neighborhood are impacting the budget in the coming years.
The acquisition of properties in the Superblock has caused controversy between business owners, residents, and city leaders.
Mayor John Rhodes first made the announcement that the area would be the new home of a children’s museum and library in January. Since then, many business owners have expressed that they’re upset about the way the city has treated them.
“Now, my life is going to be in an upheaval,” said Lacy Paulussen, owner of House Parts.
“We were told that there’s nothing we can do,” said Myrtle Beach resident John Pruett.
Lauren Clever with the Downtown Redevelopment Corporation says so far, they’ve spent $2,069,505 to buy properties in the Superblock and they’re still trying to buy out the remaining businesses.
Clever says they’re using a $10 million line of credit from parking revenue and city spokesperson Mark Kruea says any costs above that would likely come from capital funds in the budget.
“The money that we’ve spent so far, for example for the Superblock, has absolutely nothing to do with general fund money that we would use for salaries,” said Mark Kruea, City of Myrtle Beach spokesperson.
Whether its capital funds or general funds, it’s all tax payer money.
Kruea says the city did talk about an across the board raise for 2018 for city employees that would come from the city’s general fund, but now the budget will be tight.
“There are demands. People want service, and we have to be able to afford to pay for those things. So, the demands at this point exceed the available revenues,” Kruea says.
According to Kruea, council will be left to make the decision as to whether or not city employees will get raises.
He says they’ll make their decision in a budget workshop on March 21 and 22..