A relatively new program in Myrtle Beach allows the public to help with beautification, virtually city-wide.  Called “Myrtle Beach in Bloom,” it allows organizations, businesses and community groups to sponsor and maintain public property landscapes.  In return, the visual improvements feature signage with the sponsor’s name and “Myrtle Beach in Bloom” logo.

So, how does it work?  City officials and sponsors together select a location to beautify.  Here’s the fun part….  Visual creativity using plants and flowers is encouraged!  The city and sponsor collaboration includes a landscape plan and a project budget.

Sponsors are financially responsible for annual maintenance of the selected site.  Sponsors enter into an agreement with the City of Myrtle Beach on a specific site, or sites, for a three to five year period.  Sponsors also have the first right of refusal on new contract periods.  The city adds “Myrtle Beach in Bloom” signage to the site in thanks and recognition to the sponsor.  All signs are provided by the city to ensure consistency.

Here are the program guidelines…

OBLIGATIONS OF THE SPONSOR:  The sponsor pays the construction cost for the selected site.  City and sponsor enter into agreement, and payment is required before site work begins.  The sponsor also agrees to pay an annual maintenance fee to maintain the site over the term of the agreement.  At the city’s discretion, the city may contract out maintenance or may maintain in-house.  The city communicates the annual maintenance cost to the sponsor prior to entering into a construction agreement.

After the initial term (three to five years), the sponsor may renew sponsorship indefinitely in three to five year intervals.  Maintenance costs will be reviewed in this period to account for inflationary increases.  Site construction and maintenance costs will include 20% for replacement fund.  This is for site repairs due to inclement weather, drought and damage caused by vehicles, etc.

OBLIGATIONS OF THE CITY:  The city and sponsor agree on a potential site.  The city is responsible for obtaining all required encroachment permits from the SCDOT, when applicable.  Through the “Myrtle Beach in Bloom” program, the city provides a standard sign for each site recognizing and thanking the sponsor.

SITE LOCATION:  Sponsors select a specific site, landscape design and may even perform their own installation, subject to the city’s approval (as well as SCDOT, if applicable).  The sponsor may place its own sign at the site, which shall comply with the programs sign requirement.

BIDDING PROCESS:  Whenever possible, construction bids will be obtained for several sites and combined to reduce costs; however, a separate amount for each will be shown on the quotation.  Whenever possible, maintenance bids will be obtained for multiple sites and a minimum number of contractors will be selected to handle the sites to reduce costs and maintain consistency.  The city gives final approval before a bid is accepted.

BILLING PROCESS:  The city issues invoices to sponsors for the site construction and maintenance costs.  Maintenance cost invoices for the fourth and subsequent years will be mailed to sponsors three months before the end of the year with terms of net 30 days.  This allows enough time to find a new sponsor in case the original sponsor requests to leave the program or fails to respond.

Interested in participating?  Contact Richard Kirby at 843-918-2390 for additional information.

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