PICKENS — A neighborhood South of Main Street in downtown Pickens will be getting a face-lift thanks to a sizable Community Development Block Grant.
The grant was awarded from the South Carolina Department of Commerce’s Block Grant program and was announced on Tuesday.
In total, $475,230 is coming to the city to help cover the costs of demolishing dilapidated and vacant properties and for the installation and repair of new and existing sidewalks in the South Pickens Neighborhood, said City of Pickens Project Manager Becky Horace.
According to Horace, the area affected and up for the revitalization is West Cedar Rock Street at South Lewis Street to South Catherine Street, South Catherine to Monroe Street, and South Lewis Street to Monroe Street.
“The Neighborhood Revitalization Program is designed to assist in the development of sustainable communities through revitalization of in-town residential neighborhoods,” said a S.C. Department of Commerce spokesperson. “Projects must incorporate comprehensive strategies for linking commercial revitalization successes with improvements to neighborhoods that are generally adjacent to downtown or business centers.”
Horace said for the last eight months, city staff and volunteers have been working “tirelessly” going door to door gathering data via income surveys.
Additionally, countless windshield assessments of all land use in the area were taken along with hours of data analysis. All the information was compiled to create a “comprehensive neighborhood revitalization plan,” complete with proposed improvements to infrastructure to be phased in based on additional grant funding cycles.
“The City would like to thank Mayor David Owens, Council Member Carlton Holley, AFTA- Arise from the Ashes Non-Profit, Pickens Revitalization Association and city staff for their assistance in gathering the income survey data necessary to compile this comprehensive strategy,” said Horace. “Without their effort, this project would not have been possible.”