$804,346 awarded for projects

Two grants totaling more than $800,000 will be used to help finance a streetscape project in the downtown area and a project involving the Union County Carnegie Library.

Mayor Harold Thompson announced this week that two Community Development Block Grants have been awarded for local projects through the State of South Carolina’s Community Enrichment Program. Thompson said that the first grant is for $304,346 and will be used to help fund the Union County Carnegie Library ADA Project while the second is for $500,000 and will be used to help fund the N. Pinckney and N. Gadberry Streetscape Project. He said the city applied for the grants earlier this year after learning of their availability.

“A few months ago at one of the board meetings I attended, I heard this money was going to be available,” Thompson said Wednesday afternoon. “So we applied and we were one of the recipients to be awarded the grants.”

ADA Project

A summary of the grant awards prepared at Thompson’s request by Robert Moody, Senior Planner for the Catwaba Regional Council of Governments, provides the following description of the ADA project:

• Project name: Union County Carnegie Library ADA Project

• Grantee: Union County

• Total project cost: $1,968,035

• CDBG funds: $304,346

• Local funds: $1,663,689

• Beneficiaries: “5,407 disabled persons ages 18 and over who are residents of Union County. All 5,407 (100%) are considered low and moderate income.”

• Project description: “There are plans to renovate the Union County Carnegie Library, to include renovations on the lower and ground levels to allow space for expanding programs. The CDBG project will consist of the construction of items to make the library accessible to disabled persons. Construction activities will include accessible parking; an accessible entrance; accessible bathrooms; accessible doorways, where needed; a fire alarm system with audible and visual warnings; accessible stations for computers and an elevator to the lower level, where public group sessions, meetings and other services will be provided.”

Streetscape Project

The summary prepared by Moody also provides the following description of the streetscape project:

• Project name: N. Pinckney & N. Gadberry Streetscape Project

• Grantee: City of Union

• Total project cost: $558,705

• CDBG Funds: $500,000

• City of Union: $ 58,705

Beneficiaries: “Citywide benefit — 8,100 residents, (52.53%) of whom are low and moderate income.”

Project Description: “The project activities include new sidewalks around the City block from Main Street along the eastern side of N. Pinckney, along the southern side of E. Academy and returning to Main Street along the western side of N. Gadberry; landscaping with irrigation; reclamation and resurfacing of city owned public parking within this area; the installation of 10 historic street lights; and ADA accessible sidewalk ramps.”

Thompson said the streetscape project is part of the city’s efforts to improve the gateways into the downtown area, a process that he said will eventually be extended to include Church Street. He said the city is looking into getting a SC Department of Transportation grant for that part of the streetscape process.

As for the library project, Thompson said it too is in keeping with the city’s efforts to improve the downtown area and make it more convenient and attractive for all members of the public.

By Charles Warner, Staff Reporter with The Union Daily Times