City awarded $500,000 grant for sewer improvements

The city of Darlington and the Darlington County Water and Sewer Authority have been awarded grants for water or sewer system improvements.

The S.C. Rural Infrastructure Authority (RIA) has approved $500,000 for sewer system work in the city of Darlington and $494,000 for water system work by the Darlington County Water and Sewer Authority.

Those are among 34 RIA projects, totaling more than $14.5 million, to strengthen water, sewer and stormwater infrastructure. This brings the total funds awarded this fiscal year to $25.7 million.

Access to adequate water, sewer and stormwater infrastructure is key to supporting South Carolina’s quality of life, as well as opening doors for economic development.

Yet, repairs to critical infrastructure can be expensive, and local funds are often limited. Leveraging RIA grants, local revenues and other funds to address the improvements is critical in helping to close the gap between needs and resources.

“The need to partner, collaborate and work together is critical to the long-term sustainability of a community. By targeting limited, public resources where they will have the greatest, long-term impact and addressing the most pressing needs to protect public health and the environment, these grants improve and strengthen the communities they serve,” said RIA Executive Director Bonnie Ammons.

A majority of the projects funded by the grants include improving aging sewer collection and treatment facilities; upgrading water supply, storage and distribution systems; and mitigating neighborhood flooding by improving drainage structures.

The remaining grant awards increase infrastructure capacity to support existing business and new economic opportunities. All of the projects will have a significant impact on the 44,000 residents and businesses they serve.

RIA grants are awarded twice a year through a competitive process that considers the need for improved public health, environmental protection, community sustainability and economic development.

Applications are selected by the RIA board based on criteria, including severity of the problem, expected impact and project feasibility. Recipients share in the cost of projects by paying for non-construction activities and, often times, providing additional funds for construction.

Author: Stephan Drew

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