Council of Governments applies for $500,000 grant for Ottaray

The Village Renaissance Project for the Ottaray community is a step closer to reality with the submission of an application for a $500,000 Community Development Block Grant to the S.C. Department of Commerce.

Robby Moody, senior planner for Catawba Regional Council of Governments, said the grant application for Phase II of the project was submitted by his office on behalf of Union County on Monday. Moody said the application review process usually takes six to eight weeks. If the grant is approved, Moody said Phase II of the revitalization program should be completed within two years.

The Village Renaissance Project for the Ottaray community is a three-phase project designed to revitalize the community with funding secured from the Department of Commerce’s Village Renaissance program. The program promotes sustainability and conservation by improving infrastructure, physical appearance, public facilities, property values, safety and neighborhood pride.

Phase I of the Ottaray project was the planning portion of the project which provided the information needed for the grant application to secure funding for Phase II. Moody said Phase II will involve storm drainage improvements, sewer line improvements, demolition of some derelict structures, and installation of neighborhood signage. He said the improvements will be mainly concentrated in the Second Street and Third Street areas of Ottaray.

The cost of the Phase II improvements is projected to total $705,000. Moody said the balance of the cost will be covered by funds allocated by the City of Union ($51,000), the C-Funds allocated by the Union County Transportation Committee ($146,000), and funds allocated by Union County ($17,500). Union County approved a resolution appropriating the matching funds during a special meeting last week.

Once Phase II is completed, Moody said the next step will be to apply for another $500,000 grant through the Village Renaissance program. He said Phase III will also involve sewer line and storm drainage improvements but will mainly be concentrated in the Fourth Street area of Ottaray.

By Charles Warner, Staff Reporter with The Union Daily Times