First objection hearing set for Cherry Grove dredging

The view from the top deck of a North Myrtle Beach home during low tide of the finger channels at Cherry Grove.
The view from the top deck of a North Myrtle Beach home during low tide of the finger channels at Cherry Grove. MyrtleBeachOnline.com file photo

Some property owners in the Cherry Grove community of North Myrtle Beach will have a chance Thursday to object to their financial portion of a planned $16 million dredging project.

Though Thursday’s hearing is open to the public, only those who have filed written objections to the assessment will get to speak at the 9 a.m. hearing at City Hall. Those who have been notified by the city to attend the hearing will get to address the panel, which is made up of a quorum of city council members and others, on a first-come-first-served basis, according to the city. The panel will gather information and eventually present it to City Council, which will make the final decision on the objections.

Property owners still have time to file written objections to City Manager Mike Mahaney. The deadline to file is 9 a.m. July 1. More public hearings are scheduled for 9 a.m. June 30 and July 1. Property owners who do not meet that deadline will be deemed to have consented to their assessment, according to the release.

In April, city council created a special tax assessment district to charge property owners who lived along finger channels in Cherry Grove to pay for a planned dredging.

“We have received about 80 written objections to date,” said Pat Dowling, spokesman for North Myrtle Beach. “While those who wish to object to their assessment must do so in writing to the city manager, they are not required to participate or speak on behalf of their written request at one of the public hearings. Lending verbal support to one’s written objection is optional.”

North Myrtle Beach has spent years examining the impact of dredging channels in and around Cherry Grove’s Ocean Boulevard strip and the center of finger channels along House Creek from 42nd Avenue North to about 62nd Avenue North. Some of the more than 700 landowners whose properties would be impacted by the dredge have told city officials they would have liked the city to look at alternative ways of funding the project instead of placing the $24,000 tab on landowners over a 10-year period. But city officials forged ahead with the plan to create the assessment district. It argued property owners along the finger channels would be impacted most because of the work so they should foot the bill.

The waterways were man made in the late 1940s and early 1950s and are no longer navigable at low tide. The overall project is expected to cost more than $16 million.

In late April, North Myrtle Beach officials said that the Cherry Grove dredging project is postponed until the fall of 2016, which would mean that the dredging work would continue through the early spring of 2017.

City Council will meet at a later date to consider and vote on each written objection.

Contact JASON M. RODRIGUEZ at 626-0301 or on Twitter @TSN_JRodriguez.

More Information

Property owners who have received an assessment for the Cherry Grove dredging project and would like to object to the amount can do so in writing by July 1. Send objections to: Mike Mahaney, Cherry Grove dredging objection, City of North Myrtle Beach, 1018 Second Avenue South, North Myrtle Beach, SC 29582.

Related stories from Myrtle Beach Sun News