Atlantic Beach officials delay talks on annual biker rally

akelley@thesunnews.comFebruary 4, 2013 

— An 11-day Memorial Day Bike Festival in Atlantic Beach?

That’s one idea the town’s Mayor Retha Pierce brought up during Monday night’s Town Council meeting.

She also suggested vendor prices, which were raised last year, come down for 2013.

Town Council didn’t discuss the annual bike rally further though, tabling the discussion to a workshop that will be held later this month.

Pierce directed interim town manager Linda Cheatham to schedule the meeting for either Feb. 19 or Feb. 21 at 6 p.m.

Council also tabled a resolution that would enable North Myrtle Beach police officers to cross jurisdictional lines for law enforcement during the rally. Cheatham said there is an agreement between the municipalities, but did not have a copy of the agreement to show council.

North Myrtle Beach spokesman Pat Dowling said city officials have been meeting with Chetham to preplan for the Memorial Day Bike Festival, specifically regarding policing.

Atlantic Beach recently had the return of one law enforcement officer, Sgt. John Jackson, after about a month without a police force.

“That is a difficult position for the town to be in,” he said. “It also makes it difficult for North Myrtle Beach law enforcement jurisdictions, to interact on that level with the town as we all prepare for and try to manager the [bike] festival’s impact on our various jurisdictions.”

In order for North Myrtle Beach to answer calls in Atlantic Beach, Dowling said the town would need to authorize them. It was not clear when Town Council would vote on the mutual aid agreement.

Town Council also discussed the audits, which have not been completed in the last eight years.

Leaders discussed adding an audit committee, and nearly creating one Monday night, until Town Attorney Kenneth Davis said the town needs to give proper notice of the creation of the committee.

Also Monday, accountant Kimberly Vinson briefed the Town Council on Atlantic Beach’s financial status halfway through the fiscal year.

She said there are a few areas where the town likely will not make the budgeted amount, specifically on property tax revenue and businesses licenses.

She said the town is still afloat, though, mainly surviving on bike fest revenues and the collection of previously incurred business license fees that hadn’t been paid before.

Contact AMANDA KELLEY at 626-0381, or follow her at Twitter.com/TSN_akelley.

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