City receives economic development grant | News | The Press and Standard
by The Press and Standard | November 4, 2016 5:00 am
Last Updated: November 2, 2016 at 1:10 pm
On Oct. 25, Walterboro City Council conducted a special meeting to interview four firms interested in taking on the design work for the Walterboro Wildlife Sanctuary Discovery Center.
On Oct. 28, the Municipal Association of South Carolina announced that Walterboro would receive a $25,000 grant to help underwrite the design work.
Walterboro and seven other communities were awarded a Hometown Economic Development Grant. Seventy-six municipalities applied for the grants.
The Municipal Association board of directors created the grant program last year to fund projects that will produce measurable results, can be maintained over time, and illustrate best practices that can be replicated in other cities.
Walterboro Mayor Bill Young was at the table when the board of directors laid the groundwork for the grant program.
Young pointed out that the economic development program had been an idea put forth by the association’s previous president. He adopted the plan, he added, when he took over as the president of the municipal association.
Cities and towns receiving the grant must provide matching funds. Matching amounts, determined by a city’s population, will range from 5-15 percent of the grant award. Cities can use in-kind contributions or other grant funds as their match.
Young said that the sliding scale of matching funds was established to give South Carolina’s smaller communities a hand. Those smaller communities, Young said, often find it difficult to come up with the matching funds required by other economic development grant programs.
An awards committee comprised of former local government and state agency professionals evaluated grant applications.
Cities and towns receiving a grant must submit reports about the progress and successes of each grant-funded project and provide financial details of how the grant funds were used.
“These grants will help our cities and towns continue to strengthen their economic development efforts to attract and retain businesses to downtowns,” said Miriam Hair, executive director for the Municipal Association.”