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Florence leaders take first step in creating Community Development Corporation

Published: Jul. 21, 2021 at 9:28 PM EDT
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FLORENCE, S.C. (WMBF) - Florence City Council’s Development Committee has started the process of improving communities within the city.

Florence’s Downtown Development Corporation helped turn the downtown area into a successful business and entertainment district.

Councilwoman Lethonia Barnes says the Community Development Corporation intends to bring similar success to Florence’s neighborhoods.

“You see what that corporation did for that downtown area. Now the CDC or Community Development Corporation will help us get funds and grants to revitalize our communities,” she said.

Barnes said the group will focus its attention on beautification projects. They’ll also work to clean up abandoned lots and properties to make areas more attractive.

“We desire to grow the city, there are so many renters in a lot of these areas. We want to create an environment where people can say I can invest in living in the city,” she said.

Sandra Carter, a lifelong resident of Florence and director of the SHEREC Community Center, said it would be nice to see a corporation provide a facelift to some of the city’s empty homes.

“I think the recreating of abandoned homes. We did that when we built the center, we tore down several abandoned homes when we built this center. I’d like to see more of that,” she said.

The SHEREC building has long served as a safe space for the community to gather.

Carter believes the corporation should prioritize developing more places where people can come together without having to worry for their safety.

“I’m thinking more parks where children can come play and not be idle. Beautification is fine with flowers, but I want to see something people can be tangible with,” she said.

The corporation will be reviewed by the entire city council at next month’s meeting.

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