The South Carolina Conservation Bank has funded $1.5 million in grants, helping protect seven tracts totaling 4,100 acres.
The grants approved at the bank board’s July 1 meeting include $500,000 for 1,274 acres in the 14,000-acre Middleton tract along the Ashley River in Dorchester County and $462,000 for 2,310 acres in the 50,000-acre Elliott tract in Allendale County near the Savannah River.
The other grants will be used as matching funds for federal grants to protect five small family farms in Anderson, Oconee and Sumter counties.
Legislators have balked at putting money into the conservation bank during tough economic times, but the bank’s backers persuaded lawmakers to allocate $1.5 million this year to apply toward $4.5 million in grant commitments made in previous years.
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The conservation bank is tasked with conserving significant sites. Voluntary landowners either sell their property or enter conservation easements that limit development. The bank’s grants have been paid for with proceeds from real estate transaction fees.
-- Joey Holleman
Pelion airport gets runway repair aid
The Lexington County Airport in Pelion received $257,000 in federal aid Tuesday for taxiway improvements.
It is among 10 airports across South Carolina sharing $10 million for projects.
The repairs are among steps planned to make the Pelion airport more attractive to private aircraft.
-- Tim Flach
2 seek Batesburg-Leesville council seat
The widow of Batesburg-Leesville Councilman Mark DeLoach and a Town Hall critic are vying for the post he held until his death June 12.
Voters in a district on the west side of the Lexington County town will choose between Linda DeLoach and Pansy Buzhardt at a Sept. 7 election.
The winner will serve for three years in the unpaid position.
-- Tim Flach