By Charles Warner firstname.lastname@example.org
April 11, 2014
UNION COUNTY — The upgrade, expansion and extension of water and sewer systems, community clean-up and revitalization, building renovation, construction of a children’s museum, and purchase and equipping of a mobile mammography unit are the priorities of the 2014 Needs Assessment List for Union County.
The Catawba Regional Council of Governments conducted a Needs Assessment Public Hearing for Union County on March 11 at the Union County Courthouse. During the hearing, the 2013 Needs Assessment List for Union County was discussed with the goal of revising and updating it to reflect and prioritize the county’s current needs. The hearing resulted in the development of the new 2014 Needs Assessment List which was presented to and approved by Union County Council Tuesday afternoon.
Supervisor Tommy Sinclair said the prioritized list of community needs is used by the county in applying for Community Development Block Grants.
“Before you get block development money a community must do a needs assessment,” Sinclair said. “You incorporate that into your application for block grants. You can’t do everything, so you prioritize them and base your applications on those priorities.”
The 12 priorities listed in the 2014 Needs Assessment List are:
1. Seek implementation funding to address needs in low and moderate income neighborhoods to include water, sewer, and drainage work; demolition of dilapidated houses; housing needs; street improvements; and safety measures. This will include funding for needs as they were identified in the Ottaray Mill Village Study.
2. Seek funds to upgrade water and sewer service on systems that are not providing adequate service. This will include the Buffalo Mill Village and the Monarch Mill Village.
3. Seek funds for the clean-up of the Buffalo Mill site and to revitalize the Buffalo Mill community.
4. Seek funds for a planning grant to study water needs and fire stations throughout Union County. This would entail working with other water providers to identify areas that are experiencing difficulties with wells and adequate water supply. This would enable Union County to prioritize the water needs in order to implement means to provide adequate water service and fire protection.
5. Continue efforts to extend water and sewer lines and other infrastructure to sites for potential businesses. This will enhance efforts for economic development and the creation of jobs for low and moderate income persons.
6. Extension of water and sewer lines to serve the area on SC Highway 176 between the Belk Distribution Center and the Spartanburg County line and other areas that are not currently being served.
7. Extension of the business incubator program to the smaller communities in order to provide access to this service to all residents of Union County.
8. Protection of historic properties in order to enhance tourism opportunities. This should include the Buffalo Mill building, the Union County Community Hospital, and the Cross Keys House.
9. Renovation of the remaining portion of the From Building.
10. Construction of a children’s museum which will be a learning center for residents of Union County.
11. Work with Wallace Thomson Hospital to purchase and equip a mobile mammography unit.
12. Promote activities that provide fair housing opportunities to all citizens.