Sprouse presents to Council

By Kelly Duncan - kduncan@newberryobserver.com

WHITMIRE — Gregory Sprouse, of Central Midlands Council of Governments, spoke before Whitmire Town Council to solicit input on the community’s needs and priorities.

“We are in the process of applying for some Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding for the town and what that is is a funding program that is from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The money comes out of Washington for this program to the state of South Carolina and then South Carolina awards projects on a competitive basis to communities for a variety of different projects,” he said.

For this year, the CDBG program had total estimated funds of about $15 million across the state available. These funds are broken up into different types of program areas, one of which is Community Infrastructure and is used to pay for water and sewer line upgrades and other infrastructure needs.

“The estimated amount they have available for this year is about $10 million, the maximum grant that a community can apply for is $750,000 and the minimum is $50,000,” Sprouse said. “That’s where we currently are in the grant cycle, that deadline is in April and then in the fall they have another round of funding called Community Enrichment and Neighborhood Revitalization and that is used for other types of projects like improvements to parks, playgrounds, other types of community access features as well as for sidewalk improvements.”

The current draft plan for the Town of Whitmire shows top priorities in downtown revitalization, demolishing vacant houses that are beyond repair, sidewalk and housing improvements and water upgrades on Church Street.

“In the fall we may potentially be looking at some additional grant funding to implement some of the recommendations in the 2013 plan,” Sprouse said.

Other business:

• The second and final reading was passed accepting the Duke Energy contract which gives Mayor Billy Hollingsworth the authorization to sign the contract. The motion was made by Councilwoman Chrystal Harsha and seconded by Councilman Michael Thomas.

• Council was presented with the Town’s Nuisance Ordinance and determined that a Public Officer will need to be named to help enforce the ordinance.

• Hollingsworth informed Council that he has received two bids, $12,000 and $1,000 for the possible land sale at the golf course, an estimated 19 acres. Hollingsworth said that if the Golf Association agrees to sell the land, then the town will advertise that it is for sale.

• Council discussed a proposal brought up by Thomas for a fire department position. Council decided to advertise the position to see what offers come in.

By Kelly Duncan

kduncan@newberryobserver.com

Reach Kelly Duncan at 803-768-3123 ext. 1868 or on Twitter @TheNBOnews.

Reach Kelly Duncan at 803-768-3123 ext. 1868 or on Twitter @TheNBOnews.