Union County added to Appalachian Regional Commission; exciting economic development news on the horizon
At last week’s County Council meeting, Supervisor Frank Hart reported that the county was included in the recent infrastructure bill that President Joe Biden signed into law yesterday. As part of the legislation, Union County has been made a part of the Appalachian Regional Commission, which was set up in 1965 and includes 420 counties along the east coast, including Anderson, Greenville, Oconee, Pickens, Spartanburg, and Cherokee counties, but not Union. The inclusion will allow for additional grant opportunities for the county. Hart thanked Senator Lindsey Graham for his support in getting Union County included.
He stated the county continues to work on the housing initiative, and they are close to finalizing a deal with a developer and plan to meet with the tract builder to present the site soon.
He said the county continues to pursue funding to extend industrial-grade sewer to Jonesville. They were unsuccessful in the last round of grant funding so far, and they are working with the Catawba Regional Council of Governments to try and pursue state American Rescue Plan Act funds.
He said the roads and bridges bid package will be going out to bid in the next month. The county transportation committee approved $950,000 for resurfacing county roads and $1 million for state roads. He noted the Midway Drive Extension is under construction and should be completed in the next 90 days. He said the bridge on Midway Drive is complete and just needs guardrails and paving work done before it can reopen.
He stated the Lockhart Boat Ramp finally received approval from the US Fish and Wildlife Service. The project was expected to go out to bid late last week.
The South State Bank building renovation is underway and is slated to be complete sometime in April.
The Wells Fargo Bank building renovation is out to bid, with bids due on November 10. The project should be completed by March or early April.
He said a meeting with an architect on the proposed jail expansion is planned for November 16.
Hart said Code Enforcement has overseen the demolition of 20 houses so far this year in the city and county, and the owners of 11 additional properties have signed the voluntary demolition consent form and are working through the process.
He said the county continues to work with the developer on the Sims project and hopes to go to the school board in December to present an offer from the developer to use the property for multifamily, market-value housing.
Hart praised the Development Board for their work in landing Tiger Companies, with their promise of $10.8 million in investment and 61 new full-time jobs in Union County. He said Development Board Director Dolton Williams has indicated three more promising projects, which total more than 500 jobs and $180 million in investment. Hart said these certainly aren’t done deals, but they are promising and would be big for the county if they were to land them.