Bennettsville receives $435,000 grant to clean up neighborhood

Benettsville Beautification

BENNETTSVILLE, SC (WMBF) - The city of Bennettsville received a $435,000 Community Development Block Grant from to the South Carolina Department of Commerce to demolish abandon and dilapidated homes in the Shady Rest community.

Bennettsville is one of 21 communities across the state to receive part of the $7.6 million total funding from the department.

Holly Swann, the city’s Grant Administrator, said the grant will help with a city-wide cleanup initiative called Beautify Bennettsville officials started this past spring.

Swann said they’ve identified 90 homes throughout the city to tear down and rehabilitate. The grant will pay for the demolition of 28 of those derelict homes in the Shady Rest Community.

“They’ve been abandoned for 10 to 20 years um it’s just something that the neighborhood needed for a while and we finally got the help from the South Carolina Department of Commerce and the CDB Block grant that we’ll be able to do this,” Swann said.

“All these abandoned buildings in the neighborhood that we do have they really bring in snakes and rats and things like that,” resident Kimberly Dease said.

For people like Dease, unwanted visitors have been a constant issue.

Right around the corner, Marilyn Moton who’s called first avenue her home for 3 years said it’s more than rodents taking advantage of the dilapidated homes

“I’m sure there’s got to be people in there, there are homeless people in every city of the state,” Moton said.

Swann added the homes present other hazards too.

“It’s just a safety hazard of causing a fire or the house can fall on children that are around in the neighborhood,” Swann said.

It’s a costly and lengthy process, that Swann said is more than just demolishing the home. Swann estimates the cost of just one property at $14,000.

“This demolition project will at least make the quality of life a little better for those that are still living down there and that will fix their homes after the damage was done from Florence,” Swann said.

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