Kershaw seeking federal grant

The town of Kershaw wants to tap into a federal funding source that has assisted other governmental entities in Lancaster County before.

On Monday, Kershaw Town Council discussed how the town can quality for a $500,000 Community Development Block Grant. The money would pay for sewer line replacements along the old mill area, just north of the town limits.

Affected areas include First, Second, Third and Fourth streets.

Town Administrator Tony Starnes said the town would need to apply for the CDBG funding by March, and that there’s much preliminary work to do beforehand.

Requirements include an engineering study and a survey to determine how many residents in the affected area fall within the low- to moderate-income bracket. That percent would have to be at least 51 percent to receive funding.

Starnes estimates a little more than 100 homes would be impacted by the work. Those homes have old sewer lines that don’t connect directly to a main line.

“It’s just not a good situation,” Starnes said. “The sewer line needs to run from the house to the street (where the new main would be installed).”

Starnes said each household that doesn’t meet the income requirements may be required to pay for its individual line. That could cost be as much as $500. But Starnes said it’s possibly those costs could be absorbed as part of the 10 percent grant match the town would be obligated to provide.

Council voted 4-1 to pay for an engineering study, which is expected to cost less than $4,000.

Councilman Morris Russell voted against the measure. Council members Michael Cook and Sonya Poole were absent.

Russell said he’s in favor of the grant idea, but has concerns about funding – especially the possibility of asking some residents to put forth their own money.

“I don’t feel like I got enough information up front,” Russell said. “It’s like I got to go blindly into this thing.”

Code revisions

Town Council spoke once again about suggested revisions to the town’s code of ordinances.

Earlier this year, council passed first reading to approve the changes. But since then, council members have pointed out other items they’d like to see either edited or eliminated from the code.

Items considered Monday for revision or elimination include:

– a drought-response ordinance that aligns with guidelines set by Lancaster County Water and Sewer District

– road closures and town-insurance issues related to parades and other events

– parking in the downtown businesses district

– closing times at the recreation center

Starnes said those revisions will be sent to a company in Florida that will codify all of the ordinances. Council will then have to pass two readings to adopt the revised code.

Matson Street trees

Council voted 3-1 to allow Seegars Tree Service to finish trim work on trees along Matson Street. This time, the work will start from the caution light and go south.

Work on the northern end was completed last month.

The work will cost about $1,000. The money will come from the general fund.

Randy Seegars, who operates Seegars Tree Service, recused himself from the vote.

“I think everyone can agree that the work done for the (caution) light north looks good,” Mayor Wayne Rhodes said.

Closed session

Council later met in closed session to discuss what was listed as a contractual matter. No action was taken when council returned to open session.

By Jesef Williams, Staff Reporter with The Lancaster News