Myra Reece, Director of Environmental Affairs, SC DHEC

    Myra Reece, Director of Environmental Affairs, SC DHEC

    You can watch the full presentation here.

    Thank you all individually and collectively as leaders across the Upstate fighting the spread of COVID19. Something this big is going to take each one of us to minimize the spread.

    Six Upstate counties are currently in the COVID red zone and all except one SC county are trending upward.

    Consider hosting a free, drive-through testing site.

    Public Health/Environmental Affairs are linked in SC with the Public Health team leading the way in case investigations, closely watching data, designing new IT tech, and are still very focused on providing essential services like clean water, clean air, cleaning up contamination areas, etc.

    DHEC set up a Business Assistance Office to cover the economic crisis, maintain safety requirements, environmental controls. A line of communication was developed to maintain compliance and assist with Accelerate SC.

    DHEC has focused on environmental justice communities around the state with support for others like Michelin who has donated up to 100,000 masks. A lot of our community members are at greater risk because of where they work (essential workers, etc.) but there are so many reasons why communities might be at risk/be disproportionally affected by COVID.

    Fran Marshall, Director of the Office of Applied Science and Community Engagement

    If 80% of people wore masks for 80 days, the virus would be virtually eradicated.

    Distribution of the vaccine will be a long, tedious, and frustrating process, so please mask up.

    County Updates:

    Anderson: Neil Paul, Executive Director, Anderson Convention & Visitors Bureau

    Lake Hartwell is a tremendous resource which lends itself to outdoor recreation and tourism activities like fishing tournaments, bringing over 5,000 room nights to Anderson since the start of August.

    With federal grant money, facilities upgrades and updates are happening, including an amphitheater and dock space are being made to Green Pond landing.

    Working with City of Anderson to improve way finding.

    Greenville: Dianna Gracely, City Manager, City of Simpsonville

    Simpsonville growth booming despite the pandemic, including three assisted living permits, five multifamily projects (over 1K new housing units), and nine single family projects.

    West Georgia Road is the next commercial road for development in Simpsonville.

    Hospitality tax revenue will be used to update downtown with a plan to incorporate a festival street, streetscaping, fix traffic issues, and make it pedestrian safe.

    Work on the Swamp Rabbit Trail is continuing.

    Simpsonville has been rebranded with new signage and landscaping.

    An arts center is be developed in an old school.

    Downtown development includes new building $4M office, restaurant, light manufacturing, outdoor gathering space.

    Mayor Senn, Mayor, City of Laurens

    Recently dedicated Back Street Park: nod to city’s African American entrepreneurs.

    Held a ribbon cutting downtown of a mural (postcard from Laurens).

    A 140 home housing development and 1K homes on the way.

    Sutter Sticks is bringing 80 new jobs; we have 4.8% unemployment and many new jobs coming.

    We passed Capital Sales tax referendum, funds will be used for construction downtown and on Swamp Rabbit Trail.

    Restaurant numbers are up 30% due to people staying close to home vs. traveling to eat.