Kershaw County Economic Development Office | 80 Campus Dr. | P.O. Box 763 Camden, SC 29021 | Tel: 803-425-7685 | Fax: 803-425-7687 |

Rural Infrastructure Authority awards $14.2 million in FY15 grants

June 15, 2015

For Immediate Release
Contact: Allison Skipper, SCDOC, 803.737.1998

$7.5 million awarded to 22 water and sewer projects in second round of FY15 grants

COLUMBIA, S.C.- May 19, 2015- The South Carolina Rural Infrastructure Authority (RIA) has awarded $14.2 million in grants this fiscal year for 44 water and sewer projects in 28 counties across the state. This RIA funding leverages an additional $38.5 million in investments for rural infrastructure improvements.

"The ability to provide essentials such as water, wastewater, drainage systems and other public facilities is critical to the economic success of our rural communities.  each of the projects awarded with funding this year will help improve the quality of life for South Carolinians in all corners of our state," said Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt, who also serves as chairman of the RIA's Board of Directors.

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 protect public health and ensure environmental compliance. The remaining grants will increase the infrastructure capacity to support existing businesses and new economic opportunities. These projects will impact more than 29,000 customers and serve 2,170 businesses.

Communities will benefit from the replacement of aging water and sewer lines, tanks and pump stations that are often difficult to repair and maintain. These improvements help to ensure that residents will have safe drinking water while protecting the environment from sewer overflovvs. Funds will also be used to build the infrastructure necessary to serve publicly-owned industrial properties that will attract new jobs and investment including an anticipated 980 jobs and $563 million in private investment.

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 2015 is below.

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.

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"We've proven that Kershaw County is indeed Open for Business! Our County's recent commitment of $17 million to improve our industrial parks and sites shows that we are eager to welcome new industry and support their success. Because we continue to invest in ourselves, we continue to grow."
-- Julian Burns - Kershaw County Council Chairman