Walterboro safety initiative to revitalize area, mentor teens

WALTERBORO, SC (WCSC) - Town leaders in Walterboro, now tackling problems ranging from violence, drugs, and rebuilding rundown areas. Mayor Bill Young talked about curbing the crimes, and the changes that will soon be underway as part of a Walterboro "Community Safety Initiative."

"We're in the process of starting a Community Safety Initiative that we hope is going to pump more than $1.2 million into some at-risk neighborhoods and that money will also go to programs for at-risk youth," Mayor Young said.

For months city officials in Walterboro have worked on the project along with the Commerce Department, State Law Enforcement Division, and the Department of Juvenile Justice. The Mayor some parts of the project will start this summer and describes it as a broad-ranging project.

"It includes everything from putting sidewalks in neighborhoods, to lighting, to buying police equipment that our police department and SLED will share," Mayor Young said.

The mayor says the renovations will be done in an area south of Hampton and Carne Streets, where dire revitalization is needed and where past shootings have taken place.

Another part of the project known as "TASC+" targets teens, putting after-school programs in place and providing jobs and job-training. This summer 30 students are expected to take part.

State tax dollars, grants, and Council of Governments money will fund the project for a year. The mayor says if the program proves successful, that could mean Walterboro will qualify for more grants to keep the projects going in the future.

Former Governor Mark Sanford announced last October that the cities of Walterboro and Laurens were both selected for the revitalization and youth mentoring pilot programs.

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