Kershaw briefed on grant process

Town of Kershaw officials now have a better grasp of what it will take to receive a major federal grant.

Grazier Rhea of the Catawba Regional Council of Governments (COG) spoke at Kershaw Town Council’s meeting on Monday about a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG).

The town wants to secure a $500,000 CDBG to replace old water lines in the Springs Cotton Mill Village neighborhood, which is just north of the Kershaw town limits.

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

COG helps local governments in the region secure such grant money. The program is administered in South Carolina by the S.C. Department of Commerce.

“Our job is to make it as easy as possible,” Rhea said about the town’s grant application process. “We have had good success over the years.”

Rhea was joined Monday by Will Lesslie of Rock Hill-based engineering firm Keck & Wood Inc. The company has been preparing maps and cost estimates for the work.

“We have come to the conclusion that it would be more advantageous to begin with the east side of this mill village and, through future grants, complete the west side of this mill village,” Lesslie said.

Keck & Wood has recommended that the east side work be split into three phases. Work for the first phase is projected to cost $456,000. Tasks would include the installation of a new water main, a new sewer line, along with road work.

Lesslie said about 50 homes will be affected.

The pre-application process requires the town to conduct surveys to determine how many residents in the area fall within low- to moderate-income thresholds.

The town’s grant application is due by April 18.

“Keck & Wood is excited to join with the town of Kershaw to help alleviate some of the problem areas for your water, sewer, storm drainage and roadway needs,” Lesslie said.

Rhea said the COG would likely be notified in July of which governments will receive grant money for this cycle.

Though just half of the applicants are selected, Rhea said that nearly every entity that applies through COG is picked.

CareNet building

Town Administrator Tony Starnes told council Monday that a pre-bid meeting will be held Dec. 1 in which prospective contractors will be able to walk through the building that will house the Kershaw office of CareNet.

CareNet provides heath care for the uninsured and under-insured in Lancaster County.

The building, at 212 E. Marion St., has to be renovated to serve as a health center.

Starnes said bids have to be in by Dec. 20.

“We’re giving everybody an opportunity to bid – a fair chance,” Mayor Wayne Rhodes said.

The town would like to see construction start in January, with the project finished by September 2012.

The renovations are being paid for through a $465,300 Community Development Block Grant the town received last year.

By Jesef Williams, Staff Reporter with The Lancaster News