Beaufort planning to spend American Rescue Plan Funds on drainage, affordable housing

Published: Nov. 8, 2021 at 5:51 PM EST
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BEAUFORT, S.C. (WTOC) - American Rescue Plan Funds are being used nationwide to help municipalities pay for projects they otherwise would have a hard time finding thanks to the pandemic.

The City of Beaufort is set to receive over $6.5 million, half of which they’ve already gotten. As far as how they’ll spend it, the city manager has made his suggestions.

The proposed plan would put $4 million to storm water projects, around one and a half million to pandemic impacts which includes affordable housing, and just over a million toward public sector upgrades like body cameras and license plate readers for police.

  • Storm water - $4,000,000 - 61.1%
  • Pandemic impacts - $1,511,625 - 23.1%
  • Public sector - $1,033,494 - 15.8%

“If we don’t fix our stormwater that has been problems for probably 40 or 50 years, we’re always going to have flooding like we had this weekend with just the high tide, so that has to be fixed and there’s a critical need for affordable housing,” Beaufort City Manager Bill Prokop said.

Prokop said the city has a handful of areas with flooding issues and explains this proposed $4 million would complete construction to improve a quarter of those.

Prokop also explained his reasoning for affordable housing funding.

“You can’t find a rental in this town for under $900 right now, for a single bedroom, and there are none. So, if we want to hire police, fire, somebody at the hospital, nurses, where do they go? Teachers?” he said.

The city manager’s suggestions are just step one here. Tuesday night, city council will discuss how to spend this money. Later, Beaufort residents will get to give their opinions as well and we’ll let you know when that is once it’s scheduled.

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