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Published On: Sun, Mar 18th, 2018

Myrtle Beach Establishes New Beach Safety Plan, Considers Historic Districts

The city of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina is putting a new beach safety plan in place, which they’re calling “Oceanfront 2018.”

Police Chief Amy Prock discussed the plan in a meeting on Wednesday.

If passed, beachgoers and locals would see changes in the way firefighters and police respond to incidents on the beach. The city is looking to increase its manpower while improving communication between first responders.

photo/ Gerd Altmann via pixabay

First responders on the beach will be the Ocean Rescue Team lifeguards, followed by firefighters, and then police officers with the Police Marine Unit. The move would allow more officers to remain on the streets.

The plan would mean that the Myrtle Beach Police Marine Unit would respond to incidents in the water.

The fire department would see more time on the sand, and the new plan would create a beach front supervisor position. The position would offer a salary, vehicle and benefits that total around $119,000.

Myrtle Beach Fire Chief Alvin Payne said, “It’s just a modification of resources to try to get a better response. I don’t think you lose anything. I think that we really are enhancing police coverage as well as our fire coverage on the beach.”

The increased coverage should make both visitors and locals feel safer, especially during peak season.

A safer Myrtle Beach means more tourists and retirees making their way to the area each year, which will help boost the local economy and real estate market.

“We are not going anywhere,” Prock said, referring to the local police. “We’re here to stay, we’re going to continue to be on the beach, and we want to make sure not only our community members know that, but our visitors know that as well.”

Along with a new beach safety plan, officials at Myrtle Beach are mulling over the idea of developing historic districts and developing areas downtown.

The historic districts would allow for tax credits that could be used to improve buildings that are more than 60 years old.

Carol Coleman, city planning director, says an historic district would open federal and state tax credits for businesses that want to invest in Myrtle Beach. Coleman proposed the idea at the Myrtle Beach Downtown Redevelopment Corporation meeting.

The idea is still in its early stages, and no districts have been defined as of yet. Districts would likely include buildings that are more than 60 years old.

Business leaders say that preserving the town’s history and branding an area as an historic district will also attract more visitors.

“The mid-century hotels, the mom-and-pops with the cool, brick coverings, and awnings, railings, and everything that screams 1950s, but is what a lot of people think of as nostalgia,” said Coleman.

“We hear historic district and we know that’s going to be a cool place to go,” said Myrtle Beach Redevelopment Corporation Executive Director Lauren Clever. “It’s going to be something different and unique.”

Coleman added that the revitalization of one area or building often “bleeds over into neighboring areas,” helping further restore downtown Myrtle Beach.

The next step, Coleman says, is to meet with the city council to discuss how to create historic districts.

Author: Jacob Maslow

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