SURFSIDE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – The Town of Surfside Beach passed the first reading of its 2017-2018 budget on Tuesday night.
However, there is currently no money in the budget to fix the pier that was severely damaged during Hurricane Matthew.
The town has hired a FEMA Grant Consultant from Hagerty Consulting as well as the Collins Engineers, Inc. for engineering and design of the pier. As of Tuesday night, there is still no estimate for how much the pier will cost to repair.
Hagerty Consulting will receive $150,000 for their services to the Town of Surfside Beach, and $200,000 was budgeted for engineering.
Mayor Bob Childs said he’s waiting for the engineering report, which will have a few options on how to rebuild the pier. The town has held several public input meetings to find out if the public is interested in wood, concrete pilings or a widened pier.
“I’m hoping [to get] at least three options,” said Mayor Childs. “Of course, money is a big factor, so that’s going to be a determining factor. How much it’s going to cost. How big we want to go. How fancy we want to go.”
The challenge is, no matter what type of design town leaders choose, there is currently no money set aside for repairs, and as of now, no game plan the mayor wants to reveal on how the town will come up with the cash.
“We have to talk about the money issue,” said Mayor Childs. “That’s another thing, depending on the cost of the pier, as to what we do.”
The town administrator said there will be a meeting after Memorial Day Weekend with the FEMA project consultants, pier design, and engineers and staff.