Union awarded $25,000

The City of Union will use a $25,000 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) to assess the needs of the Union Mill Hill.

The South Carolina Department of Commerce announced Dec. 10 the award of more than $5.7 million in CDBG funds to 25 communities across the state. The funds are allocated for specific projects that will directly benefit more than 67,000 residents in South Carolina.

The grants included $25,000 for the Union Mill Village Renaissance Phase I Plan being undertaken by the City of Union. Union City Council has allocated the required 10 percent local match ($2,500) required for the grant.

Mayor Harold Thompson said the funds will be used to bring in a needs assessment team from Catawba Regional Planning Council. Thompson said the team will undertake a needs assessment of Union Mill Hill from the Union County Courthouse to Blassingame Street. He said the purpose of the assessment is to determine what is needed to revitalize the area.

Thompson said the needs assessment is part of the process of obtaining a $1 million grant for the project. He said the needs assessment will determine whether the project is eligible for funding. This would increase the city’s chance of getting the grant.

“Right now we feel very confident we will get the grant,” Thompson said. “We’re hoping to revitalize that whole area. It will tie in with the new Seasons of Care facility. They are not the same project, but once completed will complement each other.”

The Seasons of Care Retirement Community of Union Village is a senior housing complex that will be built by Cardinal Real Estate Group. The $18 million facility will be constructed on two parcels of land — the former Union Mill property — council transferred to Cardinal in November.

The complex is projected to create 100 permanent jobs and, possibly, 50 part-time jobs; generate $1.3 million in tax increment payments to the city over 14 years; employ local contractors in its construction; and generate new utility revenues for the city.

While Seasons of Care is separate from the Renaissance Project, Thompson said it fits in with the city’s goal of revitalizing Union Mill Hill. He said the city originally planned to include a couple of other areas when it applied for the needs assessment grant but was unable to do so.

Thompson said the city will seek other funding to conduct a needs assessment of those areas to bring them into the revitalization process.

By Charles L. Warner, Staff Reporter with The Union Daily Times