Pelzer Heritage Commission to reapply for cleanup grant

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On Pelzer Mills Properties

By David Meade

Members of the Pelzer Heritage Commission are continuing their efforts to get grant money th help with cleanup of the old Pelzer Mills properties.

Members of the organization recently met with Anderson County officials and Brownfields Cleanup consultants about grants, cleanup possibilities and future use of the old Pelzer Mill landfill properties.

In a meeting held Thursday at Tabernacle Baptist Church, Gail Rawls Jeter of Cardno, Inc. who is helping with the grant application, said that the Pelzer Heritage Commission is ready to reapply for a clean up grant for the old landfill property. The group was not approved for a grant applied for last year.

Jeter said she plans to resubmit the grant with additional details and is hopeful about getting the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) grant.

Additional information will be included about possible use of the property as a park.

Anderson County officials are looking at including the property into the County parks and recreation program as part of the Blue Trails project on the Saluda River.

If approved, the grant will be used to conduct cleanup activities at what is designated as the Pelzer Mill Disposal Areas, which includes two parcels, 16.85-acres and 11.80-acres at Parker and Frost Streets in Pelzer.

Jeter said there is also a revolving fund account for abatement of asbestos and lead paint which could be applied for to help with cleanup on the administration building located on the lower mill property.

There was some discussion about debris from the original lower mill building which was visible in 2011 when testing was done, but is now apparently under pallets.

Jeter said there needs to be a survey done on the property to update information and the pallett situation needs to be addressed so that can be accomplished.

She said there can be some work done on the site with the appropriate supervision.

Jeter said they can move forward if no asbestos is found in the demolition debris from the old mill.

Jeter recommended they proceed on the admin buildiing and asbestos survey in the next couple of months and hold off on getting an Analysis of Brownfields Cleanup Alternatives (ABCA) on the lower mill property until the pallet situation is addressed. The purpose of the ABCA is to evaluate various cleanup/management alternatives for contaminated soils.

The requested landfill clean-up grants being applied for totals $400,000 ($200,000) for each parcel. The Pelzer Heritage Commission will request a waiver to the match of $40,000 per grant. If funded, the grant will be used for cleanup work on the properties and community outreach.

As part of the grant application, Anderson County Community Planner and grant writer Steve Newton will provide information about incorporating the properties into the county recreation program as part of the grant.

Anderson County Economic Development Head Burriss Nelson will pull together demographics and other information to help with a developer package as part of a redevelopment plan for the upper and lower mill properties.

The grant application will be discussed in a public meeting on Tuesday, December 9, at 6 pm at the Pelzer Community Building.

Interested citizens are invited and encouraged to attend the meeting.

The meeting will be followed by a crimewatch meeting.