McMaster plan would aid local water, sewer systems

By Bobby Bryant, Editor

Darlington County would benefit from a proposal by Gov. Henry McMaster to spend $500 million in federal funds improving rural water and sewer systems across the state. “In rural South Carolina, water and sewer are key to life,” McMaster said Oct. 28. “The right water and sewer systems in a county can transform a tax base, creating jobs, good schools and a vibrant community.” “With this investment of $500 million into rural water, sewer and stormwater infrastructure, we can ensure that South Carolina will have the workforce, the infrastructure and the quality of life necessary to compete nationally and globally for jobs and investment for generations to come,” the governor said. The money would come from the American Rescue Plan, an enormous federal package to help out areas that have been hard hit by COVID-19. Darlington County was already slated to get nearly $13 million in American Rescue Plan aid even before McMaster announced his plan last week; the City of Darlington was already set to get nearly $3 million. It’s not clear how much additional money for water and sewer work the city and county might get if McMaster’s plan proceeds. But the money could be a huge help to the city of Darlington, which has struggled for years with its antiquated water and sewer systems. McMaster made the proposal at a press conference in Great Falls, where he was joined by officials from the S.C. Rural Infrastructure Authority, the Municipal Association of South Carolina and other agencies. “Today’s announcement stands to be transformational in all corners of our state. Such investments will help to strengthen communities and put them in a position to succeed,” said RIA Executive Director Bonnie Ammons. Municipal Association Executive Director Todd Glover said: “A lot of times we forget about water and wastewater because it is underground, but it is as important to economic development as roads and workforce. Access to these funds will be transformative to cities and towns across our state.”

Author: Stephan Drew

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