42 projects to aid 32 counties in South Carolina
Columbia, SC -- The South Carolina Rural Infrastructure Authority (RIA) has awarded nearly $12 million in grants this fiscal year for 42 water and sewer projects in 32 counties across the state. This RIA funding leverages an additional $65 million in investments in rural infrastructure improvements.
“The RIA helps rural communities succeed by investing in needed infrastructure improvements that improve quality of life for residents while supporting new and existing businesses,” said Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt, who also serves as chairman of the RIA’s Board of Directors. “These investments will help the state continue to ‘set the table’ for economic development in our rural communities.”
The projects awarded funding will address community water and sewer improvements and economic infrastructure needs. Most of the funding will be used to upgrade or improve aging facilities to ensure public health and environmental compliance. The remaining grants will increase the infrastructure capacity to support existing businesses and new economic opportunities. These projects will impact 7,500 customers and 130 businesses.
A vast majority of the projects will focus on upgrading existing infrastructure components such as water tanks, pump stations and treatment facilities. Other projects include extension of new water or sewer lines to address problems with shallow wells, malfunctioning septic tanks or areas not suitable for onsite disposal systems. Funds will also be used to lay the infrastructure foundation for publicly-owned industrial properties that will attract new jobs and investment.
Three projects were approved funding by the RIA Board in November and 39 projects were approved in May. Grants are awarded through a competitive process that identifies priority needs for improved public health, environmental protection, community sustainability and economic development. Applicants are required to match the RIA funding requests. Applications are selected by the RIA Board based on criteria including: severity of the problem, expected benefits and feasibility of the project. A full list of grant recipients for fiscal year 2014 is attached.
The purpose of the RIA is to support the construction and improvement of rural infrastructure through competitive grants and other financial assistance. The RIA is governed by a seven member board of directors, and the SC Secretary of Commerce serves as the chairman.
For more information:
Allison Skipper, APR