MONCKS CORNER, S.C. – (Thursday, September 15, 2022) – At its meeting on Monday, September 12, 2022, Berkeley County Council approved a $500,000 EPA Brownfields Assessment grant to help fund a large-scale revitalization initiative to greatly improve quality of life opportunities in the St. Stephen/Russellville area. Watch the full Council meeting HERE.
This grant, part of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Brownfields Community Wide Assessment Grant Program, will help fund environmental assessments on properties located within a certain designated Census Tract in the St. Stephen area. With the help of community and residential input, the Town of St. Stephen—together with the EPA and Berkeley County Economic Development—will conduct up to 15 site inventories of brownfield sites, in the St. Stephen area, that could be redeveloped to provide more job opportunities and other quality of life resources for the community.
The grant has already identified two such sites: the former St. Stephen High School, which closed in 1996, and the area’s former Lumber Mill, which operated as a steam-powered lumber mill from the 1930s to mid-1960s and closed around 1970. Another goal of this large-scale initiative will be to develop a complete revitalization plan unique to St. Stephen.
Public meetings and community engagement will be critical throughout this process. More information on public meetings will be forthcoming.
“County Council is committed to improving access to resources and employment opportunities for people throughout Berkeley County. This grant will not only help fund these initiatives, but also ensure the St. Stephen community is involved in the process. Berkeley County’s success is directly related to the success of its citizens; inviting the public to the table on critical decision-making efforts like this one are what makes us #OneBerkeley.” -Johnny Cribb, Berkeley County Supervisor
“The town of St. Stephen is grateful that the EPA selected us to receive one of the 2022 Brownfields Program Grants for $500,000. We were the only municipality in Berkeley County to receive this. In countless other communities around the United States, the EPA’s Brownfield Program has had a proven track record of leveraging private sector investment, creating jobs, and protecting the environment. St. Stephen will use this Brownfields Grant to spur our town with redevelopment and cleanup projects and bring sustained economic growth. We are thankful for the support of the Berkeley County Economic Development Office and their ability to work with myself, Town Council, and the Town’s administration to write the grant proposal. We are ready to collaborate with the various committees that will be comprised of St. Stephen residents and business owners to help us continue to grow and revitalize our town. It has been well worth the wait. This is the first of many blessings in store for our great town.” -John Rivers, St. Stephen Mayor
-Prepared by the Berkeley County Public Information Office-