HomeSouth CarolinaSC Rural Infrastructure Authority announces $25 million in grants for community development

SC Rural Infrastructure Authority announces $25 million in grants for community development

Columbia, South Carolina – The South Carolina Rural Infrastructure Authority (RIA) has recently allocated over $25 million in grants for its second funding round of fiscal year 2024. This funding will support 36 different projects spread across 22 counties, aimed at improving the overall quality of life, economic opportunities, and sustainability throughout the state. The RIA’s mission, captured by their slogan “we’re here to help,” shines through their ongoing commitment to funding key infrastructure projects, including water and wastewater management and storm water drainage systems. So far this fiscal year, RIA has disbursed over $44 million in total.

“To ensure all communities and businesses have the opportunity to thrive, we must address the state’s critical infrastructure needs and plan for long-term viability,” said Executive Director Bonnie Ammons. “More than 10 years of RIA grants demonstrate the profound impact that strategic investment and proactive planning have on our communities as we build a stronger future for all South Carolinians.”

The grants awarded in May 2024 will work alongside an additional $46 million from local and other sources. These funds are targeted at essential capital improvements and planning efforts expected to reach over 200,000 customers. Importantly, over 60% of these projects are focused on aiding rural and economically distressed areas.

The funding provided by these partnerships will support several projects aimed at strengthening utility services through regional collaboration. Ten of these projects are designed to tackle urgent health and environmental issues, some of which will also enhance resilience and protection against storms. Other projects will focus on upgrading or replacing outdated infrastructure that has exceeded its lifespan, expanding service capacity for both current and future users, and fostering economic growth through job creation and retention.

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Additionally, the grants will finance 10 planning studies and system assessments. These studies will analyze the technical, operational, and financial aspects of water, sewer, and stormwater systems. They will consider different alternatives and offer recommendations to ensure these systems are more viable in the long run and can effectively integrate regional solutions.

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RIA typically distributes state grants through a biannual competitive selection process. This process evaluates proposals based on the urgency of public health and environmental needs, potential for community sustainability, and economic benefits. The RIA board selects projects considering the severity of issues, projected impact, and feasibility of the projects. Grant recipients contribute to the infrastructure costs by covering non-construction expenses and often by providing additional funding for construction efforts.

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A list of grant recipients for the second round of competitive grants for fiscal year 2024, awarded on May 20, 2024, is below. To learn more about RIA or how to apply for grant assistance, visit www.ria.sc.gov.

Click here for all details and the full list of grantees.

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