Development effort focused on Venture Park
by The Press and Standard | July 4, 2019 5:00 pm
Last Updated: July 3, 2019 at 9:59 am
There are a lot of moving parts in play as the Colleton County continues its search for employment opportunities for county residents.
In late June, the Lowcounty Council of Governments reported that a $500,000 grant sought on behalf of Colleton County had been approved.
In March, LCOG submitted the grant application to the South Carolina Rural Infrastructure Authority, seeking the $500,000 help pay for the installation of water and sewer services at Venture Park.
Heyward Horton, executive director of Colleton County Economic Alliance, said putting that grant to work will be contingent on the county receiving another grant from the federal government’s Economic Development Agency. He anticipates that grant being awarded near the end of October.
The estimated cost of the infrastructure work at Venture Park is $1.4 million. The work includes running about 2,000 feet of sewer line to hook up to an existing line and running water lines into Venture Park from an existing 10-inch water line on Industrial Road.
Work on the water and wastewater service at the Lowcountry Regional Airport and Venture Park was on the list of projects to receive funding from the Capital Project Sales Tax — $700,000 had been allocated for the work at the two locations.
County officials planned to seek state and federal development grants to cover the total cost of the work.
When officials realized the infrastructure work at the airport would be needed sooner, they decided to focus on the airport and leave Venture Park on the back burner.
The work at the airport, Horton said, “needed quicker movement.”
The infrastructure work at the airport “was a little more costly” than anticipated, he added. Much of the Capital Project Sales Tax allocation went to cover that work.
Approximately six years ago, the county used one of its economic development corporations to handle the purchase of the former New York Wire building at 1497 Industrial Road and then sell it to Sarlaflex. The property owner offered the county a deal on the 81 acres of land encircling the old manufacturing facility.
That undeveloped land became Venture Park. After the purchase, a paved roadway was installed and the county installed a sewer lift station near the new roadway to handle the sewage generated by the Sarlaflex plant.
Horton said the county has “two bonifide offers to buy property out there.”