A Fall News Update from the Town of Cheraw
Fall is fast approaching, and school is back in session! As the Town enters the cooler months, it seemed like a good time to provide an update on Town activities.
The Town of Cheraw will continue to take an active role in the recruitment of businesses and industry to the area. One of the top ways the Town can assist in economic development efforts is through improving the quality of life of our residents, which makes the Town a more attractive place for businesses, industries, and the workforce they require. The Town is taking an active role in three major project areas to help improve the quality of life and make the Town a more attractive place for residents and businesses.
The first project area is the continued development of downtown Cheraw. With the opening of the Springhill Suites Hotel our downtown has made a significant amount of progress in its redevelopment. We look forward to continuing investment in our downtown and the further utilization of downtown Cheraw’s historic public spaces. Patricia Dixon has recently been named Cheraw’s Main Street Director and we look forward to the energy that she will bring to the position.
Neighborhood stabilization and housing is another critical component of a healthy community. The Town of Cheraw will be continuing its housing repair program that is funded through the United States Department of Agriculture – Rural Development. The Town can apply for this funding every two years and funds are used to assist low to moderate income households with repairs and prevent the deterioration of homes. The Town is also finalizing an application to the South Carolina Department of Commerce for a $750,000 Neighborhood Revitalization Grant. This grant will be used to continue with Phase II of the Agerton Street Neighborhood Revitalization Program. If awarded, the funding will go toward paving streets, improving neighborhood public safety, and the removal of dilapidated properties. In two more years, the Town will be able to apply for additional funding to complete Phase III at which point the Town will move on to the next neighborhood for revitalization efforts.
The Town is also seeking to take a more active role in attracting housing development to the Town. In the next several weeks we are anticipating the return of a housing development study to help determine where housing gaps exist in our local real estate market and what steps can be taken to help close the gap and encourage home ownership and development. The Town is also trying to strengthen ties with our local Habitat for Humanity and utilize Cheraw’s Community Development Corporation to explore housing development options.
Lastly, the Town is in the process of implementing a recreation master plan to redevelop Caston Park and Arrowhead Park. The goal of the plan is to develop new recreation opportunities for Town residents and consolidate existing recreation activities. The first phase involves the redevelopment of Caston Park into a tennis and pickleball facility that will be large enough to host tournaments and make Cheraw a regional destination for people who enjoy these growing sports. The second phase involves the expansion of Arrowhead Park into the land that has recently been cleared. The expansion would include the construction of new parking facilities to accommodate sports traffic, the construction of new multipurpose fields, and the expansion of the walking trail to be 1.4 miles long. Once complete, the expansion will consolidate all baseball, soccer, and football activities at Arrowhead Park while also providing space for these sports to grow. The South Carolina Department of Commerce awarded the Town $500,000 for the work at Caston Park and will soon be applying for funding from the Land and Water Conservation Fund to start work at Arrowhead Park.
Utility improvements are also well underway as part of a 10-year Water/Wastewater Capital Improvement Plan (CIP). Improvements are taking place across three areas – water treatment, wastewater treatment, and utilities distribution.
Distribution system improvements include upgrades to water lines, sewer lines, and pumping systems. A new water line from the Pee Dee River to our water treatment plant recently received a permit to operate from DHEC. The original water intake washed out during Hurricane Florence and the new water intake line will be resilient to future flooding events. Sewer line improvements are also nearing completion on the north end of Town. Additional distribution improvements will be taking place over the next two years thanks to a $10 million dollar grant from the South Carolina Rural Infrastructure Authority. Combined, these improvements represent a $22 million dollar investment in Cheraw’s utility distribution system, with approximately $13 million coming from grants, $5.5 million from low interest loans, and the remainder from ratepayers.
The next phase of our CIP is the construction of a new water treatment plant. The Town has identified a funding opportunity from the United States Department of Agriculture – Rural Development to help pay for the $33 million dollar facility. Utilizing USDA funding will allow the Town to receive $13.2 million as a grant with the remainder as a low interest loan. Town engineer Davis and Floyd is currently putting together the application.
The final phase of utility improvements involves comprehensive upgrades to the existing wastewater treatment facility. These upgrades are projected to cost approximately $28 million dollars and are expected to take place toward the end of the decade.
The Town will also continue to address stormwater issues that are impacting our residents. The stormwater improvements at Powe Street and Washington Street are in the final stages of their design and should go out for bid in the Spring. The Town of Cheraw was recently awarded an additional $3.5 million dollars for the project due to projected cost overruns. The total project is now estimated at $12.4 million dollars, with funding being provided by the South Carolina Office of Resilience. The Town has applied for additional funding to continue implementing our stormwater master plan. We have also started the process of seeking assistance from the US Army Corps of Engineers to address stream erosion that is occurring inside the Town limits.
Stay informed with TextMyGov
The Town of Cheraw is always looking for ways to keep residents informed about Town news and events. Last month the Town launched a new text message service “TextMyGov”. To sign up, please text “CHERAWEVENTS” to 91896 to receive alerts about upcoming events and please text “CHERAWALERTS” to 91896 to receive Town wide alerts. Our hope is that TextMyGov will provide one more tool to stay connected to our residents.
Town wins award for Public Safety
The Town of Cheraw received a Municipal Achievement Award from the Municipal Association of South Carolina in recognition of the Cheraw Police Department Camera System. These cameras have been instrumental in improving public safety in the Town of Cheraw. For a full breakdown and a short video highlighting the camera system head over to https://www.masc.sc/.../population-5001-10000-Town-cheraw.
Town of Cheraw 2023 Municipal Election
Filing has closed for the Town of Cheraw 2023 Municipal Election. For more information please head to https://www.cheraw.com/news_detail_T30_R594.php.
Join Our Team!
The Town of Cheraw is hiring and we encourage people to join our team of professionals who help to keep Cheraw beautiful and provide municipal services to our residents. The Town is currently accepting applications for an Athletic Coordinator, a Police Officer position, and a Parks and Grounds Laborer. If you would like to know more or would like to apply, please contact Town Hall at 843-537-7283.