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Greer among select communities to receive smart growth grant

By Jim Fair, Editor
Published on Friday, November 18, 2011

Greer continues moving forward in its planning and development of its master plan by positioning itself to receive a national grant and signing a memorandum of understanding with upstate economic organizations.

Greer has been selected to receive free Smart Growth America technical assistance made possible through a grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Building Blocks for Sustainable Communities program.

In an equally strategic move, Greer has entered into a memorandum of understanding with three upstate government agencies for future economic development. The partnerships partner Greer with GPAST (Greenville Pickens Area Transportation Study), SPATS (Spartanburg Area Transportation Study) and ACOG (Appalachian Council of Governments including Anderson, Cherokee, Greenville, Oconee, Pickens and Spartanburg counties).

“This (memorandum of understanding) is a very important step forward. This is three agencies doing the planning for all types of projects,” Greer Mayor Rick Danner said. “This is a big one for us.”

Greer was one of 15 communities from nearly 90 applications from 34 states and the District of Columbia awarded the technical assistance grant.

“It provides tools and training to help community leaders keep their cities and towns livable, sustainable and vital places,” Danner said.

Each community will receive a 1- or 2-day training session with a smart growth expert on the issue of their choice.

“The grant is an outgrowth with Ten at the Top and Upstate Forever applying for the grant,” Danner said. Ten at the Top and Upstate Forever are upstate agencies that foster cooperation and collaboration among community leaders for business and enterprise growth in concert with environmental goals.

The communities, according to the organization, selected to receive technical assistance exhibited the strongest interest in and need for smart growth tools and demonstrated a commitment from local business, community and political leaders to implement local smart growth solutions.

“Smart Growth America is committed to providing the tools and training to help community leaders keep their cities and towns livable, sustainable and vital places,” said Roger Millar, Director of Smart Growth America’s Leadership Institute, in a statement. “We are excited about working with each of these communities to develop local solutions that support thriving places now and for generations to come.”

The winning communities are:

Greer
Byram, N.J.
Caribou, Maine
Deerfield Beach, Fla.
Derry Township, Pa.
Eastport, Maine
Gwinnett County, Ga.
Kimberly, Idaho
Newark, Ohio
New Orleans, La.
Notasulga, Ala.
Oklahoma City, Okla.
Pima County, Ariz.
Pittsburgh, Pa.
Tacoma, Wash.

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