Kershaw applies for CDBG grant

The application has been sent. And now Kershaw officials have to wait to find out if they’re selected.

Since last year, the town of Kershaw has been eyeing a $500,000 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG). If awarded, that federal money will pay for the replacement of old water lines in the Springs cotton mill village neighborhood, just north of the town limits.

The town provides water for that area, which includes roads such as First, Second, Third and Fourth streets.

Town Administrator Tony Starnes said the town’s application was sent last week. Council members were updated on the process during their meeting Monday evening.

One requirement was to conduct door-to-door surveys to gauge how many affected households fall within low- to moderate-income (LMI) thresholds. More than 50 percent of those households have to meet a certain guideline for the town to receive the grant.

“We’re good to go,” Starnes said of the town’s LMI requirement. And that’s even with no response from about 15 households. Nearly 100 were targeted in the survey.

The town’s match

The Catawba Regional Council of Governments (COG) assists Kershaw – and other governments in the area – with the CDBG application.

Municipalities are typically required to provide a 10 percent match for such grants. In Kershaw’s case, that equals to $50,000.

However, Starnes said the town will only be required to put forth $6,000, as the COG determined that the County Transportation Committee’s (CTC’s) contribution will count toward the town’s 10 percent.

The CTC will help pay for road repairs that will be needed after the new water lines are installed. Those lines will run from the homes, underneath the roads and to the water main.

“The town came out good on that,” Starnes said about Kershaw’s $6,000 contribution.

COG’s Grazier Rhea said her group will learn in July which municipalities will receive grant money for this cycle.

Device for water customers

For select water customers who don’t already have one, the town is requiring those residences and business to use a cross-connection device that keeps chemicals from backing up into the town’s water system.

The requirement is part of a long-standing guideline from the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control that hadn’t been enforced in Kershaw.

Dry cleaners, restaurants and car washes are among the businesses that use the device, which is installed between the customer’s water tap and the water main.

“We all agree that we got to enforce this because it’s under DHEC regulations,” Mayor Wayne Rhodes said.

Starnes said about 50 of the town’s water customers require the device – some of which already have it. After a letter is sent, those other customers will have 90 days to buy the device and have it installed.

By Jesef Williams, Staff Reporter with The Lancaster News