First look at Atlantic Beach books, Bike Fest financials

The town's finances were made public for the first time Monday night.

For months, Atlantic Beach has been working with CPA Calvin Blanton to get the small town's books up to speed.

Monday night was the first time those numbers and the numbers from past Bike Fests were released to the public.

The meeting was supposed to be a regular town council meeting where we were going to hear more about the future of Bike Fest, but when mayor Retha Pierce and Councilman Jake Evans didn't show up, the town didn't have a quorum, so they could only hold a finance meeting.

Council Member Carolyn Cole said an announcement of the possible change had been set out for public notice prior to the meeting. NewsChannel 15 didn't receive any such notice.

Another issue brought up Monday was the financial impact of the Memorial Day Bike Fest event.

Blanton presented data that showed the town made $75,000 less in Bike Fest revenue from 2010 to 2011. In 2010 Bike Fest generated $80,000 in revenue and $72,000 in 2009. The town's records showed that only $4600 in profit was made from the 2011 Bike Fest.

"Maybe someone is trying to hide the money or it's not going into the town at all," Council Member Windy Price said.

When asked if he thought someone was hiding or stealing money from the town, Blanton said no.

"This out to be a wake up call for all of us. This needs to be wake up and figure out what can we do to be a part of the Grand Strand," Council Member Carolyn Cole said.

Cole added that the town has to think about what they can do to make money year round and not just on Memorial Day weekend.

It's not clear if Atlantic Beach will move forward with this year's Bike Fest. Price said though, it's not like they can just tell the bikers to not show up.