FAIRFIELD COUNTY, S.C. — Residents and community leaders of Fairfield County spent their Tuesday mapping out what they want the area to look like.
It comes after Fairfield was one of 25 communities awarded the Recreation Economy for Rural Communities Grant. This federal grant helps the county host meetings, develop a committee and apply for other grants to help move their county forward.
"I love the beauty and resources of the area, so when I heard that there was a planning meeting to allocate some grant money, for the development of the area, I was all for it has to be here for it," says Tiffany Cheek a resident of Jenkensville.
She is one of the forty-plus residents who joined community leaders, along with federal and state agency partners, to develop a path forward for Fairfield.
"I think expanding our infrastructure, expanding the broadband, expanding you know marketing opportunities in the area, and even transportation, public transportation would be great to the area," says Cheek when reflecting on what she wants to see changed.
The group established five goals for the county; those are economic development, downtown revitalization, awareness and expansion of recreational assets, and the preservation of historical and natural resources.
"We competed with about 125 other communities and 25 grants were awarded, and we are one of the 25, so I think others recognize our potential, we are situated between Columbia and Charlotte growing areas," says Shirley Green, vice-chair for Fairfield County Council.
She says the community applied for the grant last fall to help them move forward.
"We also have to look at infrastructure taking a look at wastewater and water and making sure those kinda things are in place in order for us to grow and progress our economy, this is only a planning grant, so this is not an implementation grant…we're not talking about 5 years down the road we're talking about one or two years kinds of bites of developmental opportunities," she adds.
The next and final meeting for planning will be on December 15th, on Zoom at 6 p.m. where additional feedback and recommendations will be allowed.
They will also provide more insight on grants they can apply forward.
Residents who want to attend the zoom meeting can do so by checking out the county's website here.