ATLANTIC BEACH, S.C. -- A town councilwoman says it’s time to consider either dissolving Atlantic Beach or merging the tiny, predominantly black shorefront community with North Myrtle Beach.

Councilwoman Carolyn Cole says the Atlantic Beach Landowners Association is seriously considering a merger. She says the quarter-square-mile town, known as “The Black Pearl,” should consider either merging or becoming an unincorporated part of Horry County.

Mayor Jake Evans says those are the views of only one member of the town council and not the town itself.

During the segregation era, the town was a prosperous, popular beach for blacks. But the town declined after the end of the Jim Crow-era, when blacks could then stay at any hotel along the shore.

The town now is largely comprised of one-story buildings and vacant lots.