Atlantic Beach Community Center

The Atlantic Beach Community Center, where town council is held. Photo by Christian Boschult

Correction: an earlier version of this story misstated the percentage of road fee money distributed to the municipalities where it was collected. 

Horry County is withholding road maintenance fee money from the town of Atlantic Beach until its officials can verify how they spent more than $6,000 in road fee money during the last fiscal year.

The county levees a $50 road maintenance fee on all vehicles registered in Horry County for the specific purpose of maintenance and improvement to the county’s road system, and distributes 85 percent of that money to the municipalities where it was collected. 

Atlantic Beach received $6,144 last year, but despite two requests from the county in August and September, the town hasn’t told county officials how it was spending the money, according to county documents. 

In a letter to Atlantic Beach Mayor Jake Evans dated September 9th, Horry County Administrator Steve Gosnell said the county would withhold the town’s first-quarter road fee money until the town sent the county an outline of town projects funded by the road maintenance fee.

As of Tuesday, Horry County Treasurer Angie Jones said the town had not provided the county with a list of projects, and that she would be withholding Atlantic Beach’s first-quarter road fee payment of $1,442 for fiscal year 2019-20 until the town can provide such a list.

"They’ve got to send in their plan,” Jones said. “Once they do that and satisfy council, then they’ll let me know they can release the funds.” 

Evans said he had “no idea” about the county withholding road fee money.

“You would have to get in touch with the town manager, Ben Quattlebaum,” Evans said. “That hasn’t been reported to us.”

Quattlebaum said on Wednesday the town was working on the report, and planned to get it to the county by next week.

“We’re putting the report together as we speak and we’ll be submitting the report for the expenditures very shortly,” Quattlebaum said. “I hope to get it to them no later than Monday.”

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(1) comment

wd4edu

When is the state Department of Transportation going to hold Atlantic Beach responsible for closing state-owned roads during the Memorial Day Weekend BikeFest and during the Labor Day Weekend Good Times Music Festival?

SC DOT Engineering Directive ED-28, entitled "Road Closures for Parades, Festivals, or Other Events," and effective July 27, 2009 states:

"The South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) has no objections to municipalities, county governments, state government, or others endorsed by a municipality, county, or state government wishing to hold parades, festivals, or other events that may involve the temporary closing of one or more roads in the state system, provided however, that the parades, festivals, or other events are held in a safe and orderly manner and that motorist and pedestrian safety, as well as adequate traffic movement and accessibility for persons with disabilities, is maintained. The following procedures shall be required for such temporary state roadway closures:

1. All requests shall be submitted to the district engineering administrator (DEA), who shall be responsible for signing all letters addressing requests for temporary road closures in conjunction with parades, festivals, or other events within the district. If the event affects multiple districts, the request shall be forwarded to the Chief Engineer for Operations to coordinate and respond on a statewide perspective."

Repeated FOIA requests to the state DOT have resulted in responses that there are no written requests from Atlantic Beach, and no written approvals from DOT's Horry County District Engineer.

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