Grants awarded to improve 10 South Carolina communities


For Immediate Release
November 22, 2017


Grants awarded to improve 18 South Carolina communities

S.C. Department of Commerce awards $6.1 million in 

Community Development Block Grant Funds


COLUMBIA, S.C. – Eighteen communities across South Carolina are slated to benefit from public improvement projects supported by more than $6.1 million in funds from the latest round of Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding. The S.C. Department of Commerce is awarding CDBG funds to these communities, representing more than 74,820 residents, for the following projects:

  • Town of Blackville – School Demolition ($226,655)
  • Town of Brunson – Adams Street Area Demolition ($118,900)
  • Town of Estill – Church Street Area Demolition ($500,000)
  • Town of Gifford – Neighborhood Demolition ($71,940)
  • City of Greenwood – East Court Avenue Streetscape Improvements ($500,000)
  • Jasper County – Southern Jasper Drainage Study ($50,000)
  • Town of Kingstree – Drainage Study ($50,000)
  • Lancaster County – DSS Building Renovation ($500,000)
  • Town of McCormick – Main Street Streetscape Improvements ($500,000)
  • City of Union – Fire Truck  ($390,500)
  • Town of Ware Shoals – Fire Truck ($500,000)
  • City of Woodruff – S. Main/E. Hayne Streetscape Improvements ($498,970)
  • Town of Cheraw – ACL Neighborhood Revitalization (Phase III) ($500,000)
  • Town of Hampton – Nix Street Neighborhood Revitalization ($500,000)
  • Jasper County – Church/Stiney Neighborhood Revitalization ($500,000)
  • City of Pickens – South Pickens Neighborhood Revitalization ($475,230)
  • City of Clinton – D. E. Tribble Building Stabilization ($99,999)
  • Town of Gifford – Rosenwald School Stabilization ($150,000)

“The CDBG program continues to set the table for economic development in communities across South Carolina,” said Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt. “Through the implementation of these public projects, our state’s residents ultimately enjoy an improved quality of life, which is the hallmark of South Carolina as an ideal destination for business.”


S.C. Commerce awards CDBG funds in the fall and the spring of each year. Selected through a statewide competitive process, local governments receiving CDBG funds are required to provide at least a 10 percent match in funding to complete the projects. Grant funds are allocated on an annual basis to South Carolina from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and S.C. Commerce administers the CDBG program on the state’s behalf. CDBG assists communities in providing housing, a suitable living environment and expanded economic opportunities.


All grants awarded through the CDBG program must meet at least one of three objectives:

  • Benefit LMI (low- to moderate-income) persons.
  • Aid in the prevention or elimination of slums and blighting conditions.
  • Meet other urgent community needs where existing conditions pose a serious and immediate threat to public health and welfare, and where other financial resources are not readily available to meet such needs.

For additional information on South Carolina’s CDBG program, including application guidelines and frequently asked questions, please visit

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No-Cost City & County Solar Training Series-Apply by Nov. 30

Solar PV Training Program for City and County Staff

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), in support of the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office, is offering a no-cost solar photovoltaic (PV) training program for cities and counties seeking to add solar energy to their facilities (on both buildings and land). The training commitment will be approximately 20 hours over a 12-month period, primarily in 2018.

The training modules, which take about one hour each, cover the following topics:

  1. Evaluation Framework and Goals  
    • Who should be involved in this process? How should solar opportunities be evaluated?
  2. Site Screening and Evaluation     
    • How much PV can be installed on municipal buildings and land?
  3. Site Assessment and Permitting
    • How are projects permitted?
  4. PV Financing
    • What types of financing options are available for a PV system, and what are the tradeoffs of different financing options?
  5. PV Policies and Incentives
    • What policies and solar incentives can lower the cost of solar?
  6. PV RFPs
    • How is a request for proposals (RFP) issued for PV? What are the most important aspects to include in the RFP?

The series is comprised of virtual and in-person training options, and virtual modules are designed for multiple staff members to view together. No city or county staff are required to attend in‑person training. Upon completion, attendees will receive a one-on-one consultation with an NREL staff member to answer any additional questions. Attendees will also be given tools and resources and asked to share what they have learned with five additional cities or counties to help spread the word about adding solar energy to municipal facilities.

To apply, please complete and submit the short application form by Thursday, Nov. 30.

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Event Planned to Present A Technology Action Plan for South Carolina’s Promise Zone


For Immediate Release

November 20, 2017


A Technology Action Plan for South Carolina’s Promise Zone

Barnwell, S.C. (November 20, 2017) – The public is invited to attend a presentation of a Technology Action Plan for South Carolina’s Promise Zone on Monday, November 27.

Representatives from the SouthernCarolina Regional Economic Alliance, USDA Rural Development Office, internet service providers, and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will be on hand as Connected Nation unveils what can be done to improve high-speed internet access, adoption, and use within the region.

“As a South Carolina native, I understand all too well how our families and small businesses need to access technologies that can improve their quality of life and economic sustainability,” said FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn, who will be attending the Nov. 27 event. “In today’s modern world having robust broadband is crucial. It can connect families to better healthcare and jobs. It is the key to better educational opportunities for students, and it can provide direct access to a global market to our small businesses no matter where they are located.”

The event will be hosted at the South Carolina Business Center, located at 54 Irving Street, Barnwell, SC 29812. It will take place from 10 a.m. until noon. Attendees will hear from those involved in developing the Technology Action Plan and learn what “next steps” have been identified as priority.

“It took us months to understand the broadband landscape within the Promise Zone,” said Jim Stritzinger, Director of Connect South Carolina, a local subsidiary of Connected Nation. “Working with area representatives, we gathered data from a number of sectors to help determine the best approach to improving access in the region overall. This informational session will be a chance for both businesses and residents to learn about efforts to expand broadband across the area.”

“Technology and the ability to connect globally are key to giving our industries, businesses, and schools a competitive edge in this ever-changing international landscape,” said Sandra D. Bland, SC Promise Zone Coordinator for SouthernCarolina Alliance. “In fact, it’s the great equalizer, leveling the playing field for our rural areas. With state-of-the-art broadband access, it doesn’t matter where a business, school, or retail operation is located. We can access information, goods, and services instantly and do business around the world. The broadband initiative will be a game-changer for the SouthernCarolina Alliance region.”

Please note: Commissioner Clyburn may be available to talk with the media one-on-one as time allows. Please contact us in advance to arrange an interview time for your news outlet.

# # #


Jessica Denson, Communications Mgr.
Phone number: 502-341-2024

FCC Contact:

David Grossman
Chief of Staff and Media Policy Advisor
(202) 418-2100


Connected Nation is a leading technology organization committed to bringing affordable high-speed Internet and broadband-enabled resources to all Americans through our federal efforts and state programs, such as Connect South Carolina.


We believe everyone belongs in a Connected Nation. For that reason, our nonprofit
works neutrally and across party lines with consumers, local community leaders, state and federal officials, and technology providers to develop and implement technology expansion programs focused on closing the Digital Divide. For more information, please visit: Follow Connected Nation on Facebook and Twitter.

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Broadband Informational Session to be held in Barnwell

Broadband Informational Session to be held in Barnwell


Proposed Agenda:

9:30 – 9:55 Networking & Introductions

10:00 – 10:05 Welcome & SCA Remarks (Danny B)

10:05 – 10:10 PZ Overview (Sandra DB)

10:10 – 10:30 Broadband Initiative (Jim S)

10:30 – 10:40 PZ Broadband Providers

10:40 – 11:10 FCC – Commissioner Clyburn

11:10 – 11:15 Closing Remarks (SC Promise Zone)

11:15 – 12:00 Networking


***Parking: Use the 54 Irving Street access to park in rear of building.***


Please share this invite with others.





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