Estill and McLellanville are among ten cities and towns across the state that have received a Hometown Economic Development Grant from the Municipal Association of South Carolina.
The Town of Estill will leverage its grant funds with a Community Development Block Grant to demolish 26 vacant, dilapidated housing structures and the 21,000-square-foot former Best Manufacturing building.
Through partnerships that include the Town of McClellanville, the South Carolina Sea Grant Consortium, the East Cooper Land Trust and Carolina Common Enterprise, the town will develop a master plan to secure the future of the town’s working waterfront and seafood industry.
Cities ranging in population from 500 to 37,000 received grants. Anderson, Belton, Estill, Johnston, Lancaster, Landrum, McClellenville, Pickens, Spartanburg and West Columbia are this year’s grant recipients.
Each municipality will receive $25,000 to implement a project ranging from community master plans and retail recruitment to downtown revitalization and tourism development. The grants are to support economic development projects that will make a positive impact on the quality of life in their communities. The grant program also promotes and recognizes innovation in economic development practices.
The Municipal Association board of directors created this grant program two years ago to fund projects that will produce measurable results, can be maintained over time and illustrate best practices that can be replicated in other cities. Projects funded by the first round of grants awarded last year are already showing results.
Cities and towns receiving the grant must provide matching funds. Matching amounts, determined by a city’s population, will range from 5 percent to 15 percent of the grant award. Cities can use in-kind contributions or other grant funds as their match. Fifty-three municipalities applied for the grants.
An awards committee of former and current local government and state agency professionals evaluated the grant applications. Cities and towns receiving a grant must submit reports about the progress and successes of each grant-funded project and provide financial details of how the grant funds were used.
“These grants will help our cities and towns continue to strengthen their economic development efforts to attract and retain businesses in their downtowns and neighborhoods,” said Miriam Hair, executive director of the Municipal Association.