GEORGETOWN COUNTY, S.C. (WCBD) – A new initiative to get rid of blighted homes kicked off Friday in Georgetown County.

The first of about 15 homes to be demolished there torn down in the historic Graves Station community, just off the highway near Georgetown.

“After 1865 and the emancipation proclamation, this community was carved out from the overall plantation areas and created for the descendants of those people,” said Georgetown County Councilman Everett Carolina, who represents the community.

Several dilapidated homes have been observed in the area recently. Removing those homes comes after meeting with residents to discuss their priorities.

“Once we had our town hall meeting with the citizens, we identified three projects that we wanted to get underway. Litter control, blight removal, and flood control,” said Councilman Carolina.

Carolina says having the 15 homes removed like this will cost about $120,000.

“This project here is a result of funding from the American Rescue Act. We had community leaders identify burnt-out, distressed, and abandoned properties within the community.”

While more than a dozen homes are slated to be torn down, the county does have additional money to tear down more. Approximately eight homeowners have expressed interest in having building on their property torn down.

“We plan on having these 15 houses torn down and finished within 30 days,” said Andra Basnight, who runs TSIAC International, which is based in Charleston. His company is removing the homes.

Councilman Carolina said he would like to see some possibly one- or two-bedroom cottages, some affordable housing, built to replace these homes on some of the properties.

That will be up to the landowners.