Despite reports, City of MB to keep beach wheelchairs

ctThe City of Myrtle Beach will continue delivering and providing beach wheelchairs to residents and visitors at least through the summer season and plans to hire two additional workers to facilitate the process, according to an internal email from Myrtle Beach city manager John Pederson.

Media reports began to surface several days ago that the City planned to charge for the delivery and use of the chairs, after a visitor encountered issues with acquiring a chair.

The City of Myrtle Beach currently maintains 12 beach wheelchairs for use upon request. In the past, delivery of these chairs was the responsibility of the Myrtle Beach Police Department. These chairs are frequently used by the adaptive surf community to access the beach and water.

In an attempt to better utilize the officers and free them for other activities, city council, police officials, and city management decided to privatize the service, while looking at options for the franchised beach services to either have the chairs on the beach, be available for delivery, or locate the chairs in a central location for pickup. In fact, the city was working toward that option when reports surfaced that the city was getting out of the business altogether.

The city will continue with the program as it has existed in the past and will use this summer to investigate options for delegating that responsibility to the franchises.

Photo by Tyler Watkins

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