COLUMBIA —Union County and the Town of Whitmire are among 28 communities to be awarded a total of $11 million in Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) by the SC Department of Commerce.
The grants, which will benefit more than 14,000 people, were announced Friday afternoon by Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt.
”The CDBG program consistently has a positive impact on communities across our state that lack resources for community development,” Hitt said. ”These resources not only help improve residents’ quality of life, but also help create a more competitive environment for bringing jobs and investment.”
The announcement states that Union County will receive $500,000 for Buffalo Mill Village Sewer, Phase III, while the Town of Whitmire will receive $160,200 for the Little Egypt Road Water Line upgrade.
The projects receiving grants were selected through a statewide competitive process. Communities receiving CDBG funding are required to provide at least 10 percent matching funds. To secure grant funding, communities must demonstrate how they will use grant funds to ensure healthy and safe neighborhoods. Projects will address improvements to water, sewer or drainage infrastructure. These projects will eliminate contaminated or dry wells, overflows in septic tanks or drainage, and will result in safe drinking water, improved fire protection, improved treatment of sewage and protection from property damage. By making these strategic capital investments, public health, safety or environmental quality concerns will be addressed.
Approximately 87 percent of these funds will be invested within counties that are not considered “developed.” In all, the announcement states that 10,000 low- to moderate-income households will benefit from these improvements.
All grants awarded through the CDBG program must meet at least one of three objectives:
• Benefit low and moderate income persons.
• Aid in the prevention or elimination of slums and blighting conditions.
• Meet other urgent community development needs where existing conditions pose a serious and immediate threat to public health and welfare and where other financial resources are not readily available to meet such needs.
The grants funds are allocated annually to South Carolina from the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The Department of Commerce administers the CDBG program for the state. The program assists communities in providing housing, a suitable living environment and expanded economic opportunities. Grants are awarded to local governments to carry out a wide range of activities addressing housing and community development needs. More than 70 percent of the funding will assist the state’s lower income residents.
About S.C. Department of Commerce
As South Carolina’s leading economic development agency, the Department of Commerce works to recruit new businesses and help existing businesses grow. Commerce received the Silver Award from Business Facilities magazine, placing second in the 2011 Economic Development Deal of the Year competition. Commerce has been part of recruiting world-class companies to South Carolina such as Boeing, Bridgestone, Continental, Monster.com, Heinz, ZF Group, BMW and Google Inc. Commerce also supports small and existing business, rural development initiatives and offers grants for community development. For more information, visit www.SCcommerce.com.