Commerce awards Community Development Block Grant to Heath Springs

When at first you don’t succeed, try, try, try again!

That was the mantra of town of Heath Springs officials when the municipality applied for a rural infrastructure grant last year that was denied.

However now, the town recently learned it has been awarded a $405,500 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) from the S.C. Department of Commerce for its South Main Street water line upgrades, and Heath Springs Mayor Ann Taylor is elated.

“I’m just so happy I want to shout it from the rooftops,” she said about receiving the grant. “It’s the last leg of replacing water lines in town. The current lines are ancient and I’m just so happy to be able to do this while I’m still in office.”

The S.C. Department of Commerce awards CDBG funds each fall and spring of the year and Heath Springs was one of 24 communities in the Palmetto State to receive money from $13.3 million in awarded funds.

Heath Springs Town Administrator Tony Starnes said the CDBG grant will be used for Phase V, the last stage for new water lines for the whole town.

Heath Springs was selected through a statewide competitive process and will be required to provide at least a 10 percent match to the grant for the completion of the water line project.

“The town’s portion is about $62,000 and the whole amount for the project is $468,000,” Starnes said.

“Some of these lines were in really bad shape, you couldn’t even work on them. This will be great. We’ll have new hydrants and water lines and all.”

Taylor said residents of her town have been troubled about the quality of their water and it was her desire to get better water service for them.

“They’d bring water samples to show me and they (the samples) were bad,” she said.

“We applied for the grant last year and didn’t get it, but now we’ve got it and I’m so excited.”

Bobby Hitt, state commerce secretary, said the success of business recruitment starts with first having strong infrastructure and a good quality of life.

“Through these improvements to public infrastructure, we continue to help set the table for economic development in communities across South Carolina,” he said.

By Denyse Clark, Staff Reporter with The Lancaster News