“It will just slow us down,” said Hopkins, who’s also the county’s transportation director. “We’ll just have to keep putting in for additional funding wherever we can find it.”
Officials have described the Tiger II grant — designed to further study the local transportation and urban development needs — as extremely competitive, but there are other options for the improvement of S.C. 153.
But there is one situation that could stifle the plan: a rejection from the citizens of Powdersville.
“We want to make sure that we’re going in the direction that the community wants us to,” Hopkins said. “That was the purpose of that (first) meeting.”
If the Powdersville Planning Group receives the grant, money would be spent on public participation and studying the infrastructure of S.C. 153 and the housing along the corridor.
The potential breakdown could be:
Public involvement and participation: $35,000
Transportation and infrastructure plan: $95,000
Development strategy and plan: $75,000
Affordable housing strategy: $65,000
Development compact: $30,000.
Where does the money go?
If S.C. 153 is a recipient of the Tiger II grant, it would receive federal funds funneled through the S.C. Department of Transportation.
The money would be spent on a more extensive study, which Hopkins says would help the county “have a plan to work from.”
Anderson County, the Powdersville Water District and the Greenville Pickens Area Transportation Study pitched in to pay $45,000 for the original transportation study, which was conducted by Goodwyn, Mills and Cawood.
The federal grant would be for $250,000, and another $50,000 would have to be provided locally, according to officials. The $50,000 could come from various agencies or even private companies.
“As long as it’s a local match. It could be state funds, county funds, or private funds. But it can’t come from federal sources,” Hopkins said.
Transportation and affordable housing
The Tiger II grant requires that local entities consider the housing and how it related to the corridor, officials say.
“The DOT, on a federal level, has some programmatic tie-ins with the Environmental Protection Agency and with HUD,” said Steve Newton, senior grant writer with Anderson County.
But just because the study would partially review the housing in the area doesn’t mean that “there’s going to be HUD-funded houses sprouting out all along the 153 corridor,” Newton said.
“In terms of doing any corridor planning study for 153, we would look at housing stock as being an elemental component of that, kind of like you would for any kind of comprehensive plan,” he said.
“Six months to a year”
“Even if we get all of the funding we need, it would take us at least six months to a year to come up with a viable plan on what brick-and-mortar things need to be built,” Hopkins said.
But a slow process isn’t always bad, he added.
“Sometimes slow is better, because you get more buy-in and support from the community,” he said. “With that said, once we know exactly and get a lot of public input, we can start applying for other grants. The other grants may be small pieces — a grant here and a grant here — and we put it all together, but at least we’ll have a plan to work from.”
Meanwhile, Hopkins said he hopes to receive as much community feedback as possible.
The next public meeting has been rescheduled for Oct. 22 at 10 a.m. at the Powdersville Library.