COG working to share more with public

  • Wednesday, August 13, 2014

The Waccamaw Regional Council of Governments is working to share more with the public about its projects and programs in the three counties it serves – Georgetown, Williamsburg and Horry.

Executive Director Sarah Smith reported to the WRCOG board, at its regular meeting on Aug. 11, that her staff will distribute a quarterly newsletter that reflects the group’s website, www.wrcog.org

“We want to raise awareness about the Waccamaw Regional Council of Governments in the region,” Smith said.

“Expect it soon. If there are things you would like us to highlight, let us know.”

Anyone who would like to receive the newsletter by e-mail can go to the home page of the website to add e-mail addresses.

Smith said the website has been updated so it is easier to navigate and departments, including Planning, Workforce Development, Economic Development, Transportation, and Aging and Disability, have been asked to provide summaries of their projects.

WRCOG is also working to provide more press releases to news media, Smith stated.

Located in coastal South Carolina, WRCOG is a quasi-governmental agency that administers regional programs and fosters inter-governmental cooperation to support the three-county region it serves, according to the website.

Created in 1969, WRCOG is a link between county governments, municipalities and residents.

Its expansive range of services help local governments make and implement joint regional decisions, and identify and solve problems best addressed at the regional level, the website states.

Services offered include:

Environmental planning

Land use planning

Workforce development

Economic development activities

Community development and affordable housing

Aging and disability services

Transportation planning

Grant administration

“Local governments play a role in nearly every facet of life for a community’s residents, and WRCOG is a cornerstone for helping local government work effectively,” the website states.

Other business

The WRCOG board approved the Fiscal Year 2015 Rural Planning Work Program for the South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT).

Edward Starks, transportation planner for WRCOG, reported that the rural study area is designated as the land westward of the Waccamaw River from the North Carolina Border to where it intersects with US 701, then follows the US 701 alignment to Georgetown and is enclosed to the south and west by the City of Georgetown and the Williamsburg County Line.

The Rural Planning Work Program specifies the planning activities and budget for that area, Starks explained.

Specific tasks are organized in the following areas: administration, planning, special studies, plan and program development and maintenance.

The last category includes the Rural Transportation Improvement Program and public transportation planning, as well as annual grant prioritization and recommendations for SCDOT.

The board approved a Permanent Improvement Program grant extension for Hopewell Senior Day Care Center in Williamsburg County.

Kimberly Harmon with the aging division reported that the Hopewell Senior Center was awarded a $350,000 grant through the Lieutenant Governor’s Office on Aging to build a senior center in the community of Salters in Williamsburg County.

The project was delayed for permitting from the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control.

There was also a change to the scope of the project.

Since the grant is due to expire before the estimated completion of the project, Harmon met with the project sponsors, architect and contractor to complete the project extension request for the Lieutenant Governor’s Office on Aging to consider.

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