Upper Savannah COG hosted around a dozen town, city and county clerks this week, giving them an opportunity to discuss common topics which they face in their communities.
One topic was HEAL (healthy eating, active living) mini grants of up to $5,000 to help communities increase access to healthy choices and address health through technical assistance.
The Town of Ridge Spring successfully applied for a mini grant recently, acquiring new playground equipment for the Town Park and a bicycle rack.
The Promised Land community in Greenwood County also acquired a grant for picnic tables and benches at their walking trail.
The grant opportunities are offered by Wholespire, in collaboration with the S.C. Office of Rural Health. The grant application deadline is July 21, 2023.
“They have been very easy to work with,” Town of Ridge Spring clerk/treasurer Summer Brown said of Wholespire.
USCOG Government Services Director Rick Green led the group discussion during an informal lunch Tuesday. He told the clerks that money is available to fund environmental assessments of brownfields sites, enabling for the possible redevelopment of properties that might have contaminants such as asbestos, lead-based paint, oil or other chemicals.
A brownfields site is a former industrial or commercial site where future use is affected by real or perceived environmental contamination.
The site of environmental testing must be owned by a city, town or county, or be supported by a municipality for possible redevelopment.
Green also asked the clerks to support the state’s efforts to survey residents about their home internet access capabilities. The online survey can be accessed at cx.ravencsi.com/aK8qm via cell phone or computer.
The purpose of the survey is to locate underserved areas that lack reliable high-speed internet so the state can address the shortcomings with federal funding from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA). But the state wants as many residents as possible to take the survey, whether their internet service is great, shaky or non-existent.
Other topics discussed by the clerks include reporting on the spending of federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding, law enforcement shortages, population growth in some areas of the region, and preparing for the FY 2023-24 budget and 2024 elections.
At the present time, USCOG is hosting clerk lunch meetings twice per year and also hosts public administrators and other officials at various times. Contact Rick Green at 864 941-8072 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.