U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo has announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $2 million grant to the Laurens County Water and Sewer Commission for sewer infrastructure upgrades to service a prime industrial corridor.
This project will promote job creation through sewer upgrades necessary for business expansion. This EDA grant will be matched with $735,000 in local funds and is expected to create 50 jobs and generate $50 million in private investment.
This project was made possible by the regional planning efforts led by the Upper Savannah Council of Governments (USCOG), according to an EDA press release. EDA funds USCOG to bring together the public and private sectors to create an economic development roadmap to strengthen the regional economy, support private capital investment and create jobs.
Upper Savannah staff prepared and submitted the EDA grant application on behalf of the Laurens County Water and Sewer Commission and will help manage the project going forward.
This project will consist of the construction of a new, submersible, duplex pump station to replace the existing station at the Fibertex industrial facility near Gray Court in northern Laurens County.
The existing pump station is currently undersized to accommodate the expected future flow from the expansion of Fibertex. This facility produces material used in various products such as baby wipes, face masks, footwear, bedding and furniture.
Currently, Fibertex has one production line of nonwoven textiles. Another production line is expected to start this year, and future expansions are being planned.
The station will be equipped with a standby generator package to maintain operability in the event of power loss. Pumps will be sized to handle flow from the anticipated Fibertex expansion.
The 350 gallons per minute pump station will be designed to be easily upgradable as the need arises. The four-inch force main to the Owings Industrial Park will be replaced with a new eight-inch force main.
“This EDA investment will provide for sewer upgrades that Laurens needs to support its business community, including the expansion of a Danish company with a direct investment in the region,” Raimondo said.
“The Economic Development Administration plays an important role in helping communities implement their plans to provide the vital infrastructure that businesses need to be successful,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo. “This EDA investment will support necessary infrastructure upgrades to serve local industries in Laurens (County) and accommodate future growth.”
“This award is great news for the region and the state,” said Senator Lindsey Graham. “This funding will improve water and sewer service in a critical industrial corridor in the Upstate, allowing for continued economic development and job creation. The Palmetto State is a great place to live and work, and this grant will help to ensure quality infrastructure exists in the Upstate.”