MYRTLE BEACH — Federal grant funds originally set to be used for a community garden in the Booker T. Washington neighborhood could soon be used to demolish unsafe buildings in Myrtle Beach’s “revitalization area.”
Myrtle Beach City Council initially appropriated $20,000 of the nearly $560,000 of federal Community Development Block Grant money it received to be used on the Booker T. Washington garden. The grant money must be spent to benefit low- and moderate-income level neighborhoods, said assistant city manager John Pedersen.
The resolution would shift funding sources around and allow the city to spend the CDBG funds on the future demolition of unsafe buildings within the city’s “revitalization area” – which includes the Booker T. Washington, Harlem/Carrie Mae Johnson, Ramsey Acres and some areas close to the ocean, Pedersen said. The community garden would then be paid for from the city’s general fund.
No specific buildings have been targeted for demolition, Pedersen said, but the resolution allows the city to use the CDBG funds to demolish buildings if the need arises.
“There are times when the City Council orders the demolition of a property,” Pedersen said. “This money is to take care of this cost.”
Pedersen said demolition is the last step when the owners of badly neglected buildings either refuse to or are unable to make the necessary repairs.
City staff held a meeting Monday night for anyone interested in learning more about the reallocation of the CDBG funding. The topic also will be discussed Tuesday during the 9 a.m. City Council workshop at City Hall, 937 Broadway St., Myrtle Beach.
Contact MAYA T. PRABHU at 444-1722 or follow her at Twitter.com/TSN_MPrabhu.