MB City Council members to decide on creating Performing Arts Center

Voters said they wanted it, and now Myrtle Beach City Council members will decide if they'll move forward with building an auditorium and performing arts center alongside the Myrtle Beach Convention Center.

The referendum voters passed back in November was to issue bonds which would be repaid by a property tax increase to help construct the arts center.

The referendum for the performing arts center was non-binding, so the city isn't obligated to approve it. Sunday, council members will make a decision at their budget retreat whether to issue bonds and raise property taxes to build it.

The city says it would cost an estimated $10 million.

Jamie Broadhurst, a performing arts board member, says it's worth it.

"We have to provide services and quality of life for the people that do live here," said Broadhurst.

He says the arts community will even help with operating costs.

"Arts committee have assumed the responsibility of one-half of this operational budget," said Broadhurst.

Myrtle Beach city spokesman Mark Kruea said if council approves it, you'll see an increase on your property taxes.

For example, on a $100,000 home, Myrtle Beach residents would pay about $13 more a year.

Kruea said, "It depends on which budget year it goes into. If it goes into next budget year, then you'd see it reflected on your property tax bill in January of 2016."

Kruea said there are two main costs: constructing the building and operating costs.

"The city, if it builds it, will pay for the cost of building the facility and the operating cost would be shared between the city and the performing arts community," said Kruea.

Kruea said, "It'll be a city owned building, but it will essentially share the cost with the performing arts community. The city will hire, if it gets built, a technical director who would work for both city events and also arts community events. Then the arts community would hire an executive director to help manage the theater as a whole."

Broadhurst said after council makes a decision, it would take up to 16 months to build.

Kruea said the arts center would be an asset to the community, but is not intended for revenue.