July 13, 2012 North Myrtle Beach, SC – It’s a project the city has been working on for years according to North Myrtle Beach Director of Public Works, Kevin Blayton, referring to the Hillside Drainage Project.
“Essentially the project consists of a series of dams and holding ponds flowing into a wetland system,” said Blayton, “and designed to correct flooding on both Highway 17 South and Hillside Avenue.” When completed, the drainage project will span from the west side of Highway 17 in the vicinity of the Belle park subdivision to the vicinity of 6th Avenue South and Hillside Drive.
The wetlands incorporated into the project runs from 17th Avenue South near 9th Avenue South along 6th avenue to Hillside Drive. “To keep the wetlands from overflowing too badly, we are created a series of open water ponds along the west side of Hwy 17.” One holding pond will be near the city’s Central Park, the other on Hwy 17 towards 9th Avenue South.
Hillside Avenue is the terminus of the wetlands and will be raised to form a dam. At that point, waters will flow to the existing 6th Avenue South outfall.
Project costs, Blayton estimates will be around $1.5 to $2 million not including land acquisition costs which requires the cooperation of landowners in the drainage area.
The City of North Myrtle beach is in the process of acquiring several parcels of property that are necessary for the Hillside Drainage Project. The total number of parcels required for the project is twelve and the City has acquired seven of the twelve parcels through negotiations with the landowners. In addition to the acquisition of the twelve parcels, the project will require easement over thirty parcels of which the city has obtained twenty-nine.
At Monday’s Council meeting, City Staff requested and received authorization to proceed with condemnation procedures for the five parcels and one easement where compensation negotiations failed.
The use of condemnation processes by the city is rare but not unprecedented. The most recent case that went to court was in 2000. In that situation the City offered $25,000 in compensation to acquire roadway and sidewalk easements in Windy Hill. The owners wanted $500K and took their case to court. The City prevailed.