Fall News Update from the Town of Cheraw

The leaves are falling and so is the temperature! Our Public Works crews are starting to install Christmas Decorations and before you know it the holidays will be upon us! As we close out October with fun activities like the South Carolina Jazz Festival and Praise in the Park we wanted to give an update on what the Town of Cheraw has been working on.

Starting with an update on grant activity. The Town is looking to take advantage of some upcoming grant programs to assist with recreation developments, historic preservation, infrastructure, urban forestry, and tourism. This is in addition to recently submitted grants for community development, stormwater management, and community facility upgrades. As the Town works to improve the quality of life for our residents, grants will continue to help leverage local tax dollars into larger projects that may not otherwise be possible.

The Town is continuing to implement a Recreation Master Improvement Plan, with attention being turned toward Arrowhead Park. The Town will be applying for $250,000 in funding from the National Park Service to construct a splash pad at Arrowhead Park. This application is being made under the Land and Water Conservation Fund through South Carolina Parks, Recreation, and Tourism (SCPRT). The complete expansion of Arrowhead Park is an estimated $3 million dollar project and will broken into phases as funding becomes available. The Town of Cheraw will hold a public hearing on Monday, November 20th at 5:30PM to review the proposed re-development of Arrowhead Park and all are welcome to attend.

The Town is also planning to continue efforts to improve downtown by applying for $200,000 from the South Carolina Department of Archives and History to fund historic preservation projects on the Town Green. Our historic buildings are irreplaceable and contribute to Cheraw’s unique identity and their preservation remains a priority.
The Town will also be seeking assistance from the South Carolina Forestry Commission to develop and urban forestry management plan for Cheraw’s numerous street trees. These trees provide numerous economic and environmental benefits to our community, and ensuring they can be maintained in a healthy and safe manner is an important part of this project.

The Town recently received a grant from SCPRT of $51,000 through the Undiscovered SC Program to help renovate restroom facilities in the main building. We anticipate that this project will start early next year.

Progress is continuing to be made on the Town’s water/sewer infrastructure improvements. The new raw water line, built to replace the original water line that was vulnerable to flood events like Hurricane Florence, has now been put into service. This line provides water from the Pee Dee River to our water treatment plant. The new line is resistant to floods and severe weather, ensuring that our water system can continue to function even during major disasters. This $2.2 million dollar project was paid for by a $620,000 Community Development Block Grant and an $820,000 EDA Grant with the rest provided by local funds.

For the Town’s recent $10,000,000 SCIIP grant, Davis and Floyd has been selected to serve as the lead engineers on the project. Their familiarity with Cheraw’s existing utility system will help ensure that all deadlines for SCIIP are met. The Town’s SCIIP grant will be paying for numerous upgrades to the water distribution and sewer collection system, and certain projects will be bid out by the end of the year. The deadline to finish all projects with our SCIIP Grant is June 2026.

With the completion of the raw water line and securing the SCIIP grant, the necessary improvements to the Towns water/sewer distribution have been financed and will be completed. The next phase of the Town’s Infrastructure Capital Improvement Program will be the construction of the new water treatment plant which is estimated to be $40 million dollars.

Davis and Floyd is now finalizing an application to United States Department of Agriculture – Rural Development for a combination grant/loan for the construction of the new water treatment plant. The application recently had to be amended so that the new plant will include new treatment technologies that address emerging contaminants including a group of chemicals known as PFAS or “forever chemicals”. The Town of Cheraw is aware that these emerging contaminants impact many South Carolina utility providers, and we are currently working with the EPA and the DHEC to determine how the Town’s water utility needs to address these contaminants moving forward and how new treatment technologies may be incorporated into the construction of the water treatment plant. The Town’s drinking water meets all federal and state regulations for water quality, but we want to be proactive as we address these concerns.

In addition to the funding from USDA and EPA, the Town of Cheraw has a pending $4.4 million dollar appropriations request in the upcoming federal budget that is being sponsored by Senator Lindsay Graham. Cheraw’s Town Council made a trip to Washington DC last week to talk to Cheraw’s Congressional Delegation along with the EPA and US Army Corps of Engineers to address Cheraw’s critical infrastructure needs and seek support for our ongoing efforts. Additional federal support may come from the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) where a federal appropriation would create a Chesterfield County Sewer Improvement District within the Army Corps of Engineers. Funding within this Sewer Improvement District could be utilized by the Town of Cheraw for wastewater treatment plant upgrades and other sewer improvements. Federal and State Grants are critical for financing these infrastructure improvements. While it is necessary for the Town to invest local funding in infrastructure, every federal and state dollar we secure helps reduce the costs to our water and sewer rate payers.
We look forward to bringing you more news in the future!

Upcoming Dates and Events

November 7, 2023 – Election Day
November 14, 2023 – Town Council Meeting
November 17, 2023 – Basketball Registration Ends
November 28, 2023 – Town Council Briefing
December 5, 2023 – Christmas Card Winner Presentation

Be sure to keep up with the latest Town news and events by following the Cheraw Recreation and Leisure Services and the Cheraw Arts Commission on Facebook.