$ 3.7 million in federal funding for rural HC communities

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) – Williamsburg County and the town of Walterboro are among a dozen rural South Carolina communities that share $ 3.7 million in grants and loans from the Department of Agriculture United States.

The Direct Loans and Grants for Community Facilities program supports 536 projects nationwide, including 20 here in South Carolina.

Dr. Saundra Glover is the State Director for Rural Development for South Carolina. She says this type of investment in rural communities is essential to maintaining quality essential services.

“Especially when you’re going through a crisis or an impending emergency, these services really reach the top,” Glover said. “Without these grants and loan opportunities, they might not be here. “

In Walterboro, nearly $ 100,000 will be used to replace two police cars and a fire engine. Another $ 40,000 is planned for the purchase of a new, more fuel-efficient backhoe loader.

“You can see a diverse group of projects, but it really matches the needs of rural communities,” Glover said. “Over the years these projects have funded libraries, health clinics, schools – a number of community level activities in our rural areas.

Not all approved projects relate to emergency services. Vital Aging of Williamsburg County Inc – a nonprofit that provides services to people over the age of 60 – receives $ 34,900 for HVAC repairs. Williamsburg County Disabilities and Special Needs is using $ 47,900 to purchase furniture, office equipment and gardening equipment. Some of this money will also be used to paint the building.

“It’s a competitive process that is looked at and then projects are identified and funded,” Glover said of how projects are selected. “There are priority scores for certain projects, especially in areas in difficulty. “

Williamsburg County also won nearly $ 200,000 for upgrading its waste management office sites and purchasing three additional trash compactors.

“These services are essential,” said Glover. “Our rural areas deserve the same level of importance and support as our urban areas. “

Other rural communities receiving support include:

Calhoun County received a $ 50,000 grant to purchase equipment to upgrade the John Ford Community Center in St. Matthew.

The Town of Lake View will use a $ 50,000 grant to purchase a garbage truck for the sanitation service.

The Town of Dillon will use a grant of $ 17,000 to purchase a drone for the Town of Dillon Law Enforcement Department.

The City of Lake City received two grants totaling 99,900, which will purchase two garbage trucks for the sanitation service.

Hampton County will use an $ 18,000 grant to replace console furniture and carpet tiles at the county dispatch center.

The Pee Dee Math, Science & Technology Academy will use a $ 2.7 million loan and $ 100,000 grant to construct an approximately 11,000 square foot building adjacent to the academy’s existing campus.

Samaritan House will use a grant of $ 17,410 to purchase furniture, fixtures and equipment to meet the requirements of the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control. In addition, The Samaritan House will use a grant of $ 25,690 to purchase furniture, fixtures and equipment to meet DHEC requirements, including mold removal.

Marion County will receive a loan of $ 100,000 and a grant of $ 120,000 to renovate the county administration building.

For more information on the program and how to apply for the next round of grants, click here: (https://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/community-facilities/community-facilities-direct-loan-grant-program)

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