| The Town of Ridge Spring will receive funding for a downtown streetscape project while the City of Greenwood will tear down a vacant, dilapidated community center, thanks to Community Development Block Grant awards announced in December 2018.
The Town of Ridge Spring will receive $500,000 in CDBG funds and add a $56,000 match for a total project cost of $556,000. The project proposes to upgrade an existing parking plaza to include repaving and additional parking while adding sidewalk upgrades, lighting and irrigation in downtown Ridge Spring.
The City of Greenwood will receive $249,404 in CDBG funding and add a $40,289 match for a total project cost of $289,693. The project proposes to demolish a vacant, dilapidated community center building located at 314 Jackson Avenue that is a health and safety threat to the community.
Upper Savannah COG Community Development staff prepared and submitted the CDBG grant applications to the State. The S.C. Department of Commerce made the grant award announcements Dec. 12, 2018. Twenty-one grants were awarded statewide by the SCDOC for a total of $7.6 million.
The Ridge Spring project will focus on streetscape improvements on Main Street (Highway 23). The Town’s primary shopping area is along Highway 23, which has an average traffic count of more than 8,000 vehicles per day. The post office, public library and town hall are also in the downtown area.
According to a parking study, the Town parking plaza is often overflowing during mid-day. The lot currently has 25 marked spaces and the study showed 35 vehicles parked in various places in the plaza. The situation is even more dire during Town festivals and events.
The project proposes to increase the current parking from 25 spaces to around 46 spaces to help alleviate the parking shortage and stop illegal parking in unauthorized zones.
The Town of Ridge Spring, USCOG, SC Department of Transportation, and SC Department of Health and Environmental Control completed a walkability assessment in June 2018. The assessment determined that the Town has the potential to be a very walkable community, with the centralized downtown area surrounded by residential neighborhoods giving residents the option to walk to many destinations.
Some of the recommendations of this assessment include upgrading broken and sunken segments of sidewalks and installing ADA approved sidewalks, which will be a crucial piece of the overall streetscape project.
In Greenwood, multiple unsafe conditions and code violations exist in the community center on Jackson Avenue. Homeowners in that mill village area voiced concerns about hazards at the building. They report that the property has become infested with snakes, rats and other vermin.
The property has become seriously dilapidated and the community asked for the facility to be demolished and the property to be cleared of health and safety hazards.