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      Atlantic Beach almost $1 million in debt

      A budget report released by the Town of Atlantic Beach shows the town owes $868,000 to various entities.

      The report is uncompleted and the town is facing additional debt from outstanding lawsuits.

      This isn't the only hurdle the town is facing. Atlantic Beach has not turned in an audit to the state since 2005 and the state is witholding revenue because of that.

      A new bill sponsored by State Representative Steven Goldfinch would give the Secretary of State's office the power to cancel a town's municipality if they do not complete audits within 13 months of their due date.

      At a council meeting Monday evening, several council members spoke about that bill.

      Councilwoman Carolyn Cole agreed with the legislation.

      "I believe that Horry County or North Myrtle Beach will provide a better framework for us to preserve our history and our heritage than to sit here and keep going over the same thing over and over and over again and pretending to be a government," said Cole.

      The town had a chance to hire an auditor at the meeting Monday evening, but they did not.

      They will be interviewing a potential auditor at their next council meeting.

      Interim Town Manager, Linda Cheatham, stated that a previous auditor had completed the 2006 audit, but it was never approved by council.

      Cheatham also stated that the 2007 and 2008 audits were halfway completed.