BERKELEY COUNTY, S.C. (WCBD) – Berkeley County leaders say a $500,00 Brownfield grant from the EPA could be used to revitalize some areas in St. Stephen and Russellville.
The money will be used to perform assessments of blighted property and help the county look at what may need to be done to refurbish and make the properties usable again.
Kristen Lanier, who serves as Berkeley County Director of Economic Development, said the county accepted the grant in October of last year.
“If you are a property owner and you own property that’s been sitting for a while, especially if it’s in the commercial district of St. Stephen, maybe a site on Main Street, and you don’t know what to do with it but you have an interest in redeveloping, this grant can help you get peace of mind to understand what could be wrong with the property – or not wrong with the property – that you don’t know about,” Lanier explained.
There are a few possible projects the county is already looking at, including the former St. Stephen High School building.
Another is more than 80 acres of land the county owns, which used to be the old lumber company in St. Stephen. But they would like to look at different properties for this grant.
“We could do an assessment, a phase 1 is what they call it, and just do a property overview. We could save the property owner thousands of dollars from having to do that themselves and give them peace of mind to know what to do with the property moving forward,” said Lanier.
The grant funding will be discussed during a meeting held Tuesday evening at the American Legion. That meeting begins at 5:30 p.m.