BCD Council of GovernmentsMay 2012
The BCDCOG in brief
Welcome to the BCD Council of Governments digital newsletter. This newsletter is published once a month to bring you highlights of projects and activities being undertaken at the agency. Should you have any questions or would like to request additional information, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Revolving Loan Fund Assists Local Business

Parker Land Surveying (PLS), LLC, a provider of professional land surveying services, started their business in August of 2008 with a staff of 14, partial year revenue around $300,000 and one licensed professional.


In 2010, they were blessed with doubling revenues and becoming more profitable with a heavy investment in technology through state of the art robotic surveying equipment. In 2011, Parker Land Surveying grew by 35% adding 6 staff members, still remaining profitable, as revenues topped $1,000,000. The key to their growth was a focus on diversification of project types.


Parker Land Surveying is off to a roaring start in 2012 with two large projects in addition to their normal work load. PLS was selected to be the contractor for the Joint Base Charleston Runway Replacement project. For the first time, they have been able to hire a local high school student for a summer internship and are considering purchasing a building to better suit their needs, and perhaps adding staff for the upcoming Joint Base project. They attribute their success to a well trained, well equipped family of employees, loyal clients and the Revolving Loan Fund Program through the BCDCOG.


Our Region Our Plan Taking Shape



The BCDCOG's Regional Planning initiative, OurRegion OurPlan, is quickly approaching its goal to produce a shared regional vision for quality of life and long range growth in the tri-county area.


The planning team, led by HNTB, is carefully preparing a draft document to accompany a preferred scenario for growth in the region that has evolved through months of Committee and public meetings. This scenario identifies principal centers (villages, towns, oropand cities of various scales), corridors (roads, rail, water, and natural /trail systems), and recognizes existing green infrastructure (protected, recreation/open space, and agricultural lands) to enhance in the future. The draft planning document will also include a number of agreed upon strategies that can direct our region's strengths and assets to meet these common economic, community and quality of life goals.


The team anticipates reviewing the draft document at a combined meeting of the Regional Plan Planning and Technical Committees on June 28th. The plan will be finalized shortly thereafter based on feedback from the Committees on the proposed implementation strategies. Please visit the project website at www.OurRegionOurPlan.org or contact Kathryn Basha at kathrynb@bcdcog.com.

Partnership for Prosperity, Draft Master Plan in Refinement


Neck LogoThe Partnership for Prosperity's draft Master Plan is under refinement as the consultant team prepares a draft document. The Partnership for Prosperity's goal is to provide a roadmap or guide for the Cities of Charleston and North Charleston to plan future development and redevelopment in the "Neck area".


Key to this plan is the concept of "catalyst" areas where community cores now exist or should evolve based on infrastructure systems such as roadways and transit service. The Plan will provide a framework for encouraging public and private investments to support community needs in the immediate area and economic vitality of the Neck area. The Master Plan is a long-term Plan with implementation expected over a period of at least thirty years. The consultant team is working towards completion of draft, which will include estimates of program and capital project costs, for its steering committee's consideration in late July.


Public input is always welcomed on this Master Plan for the Neck area. Interested persons are invited to visit the project website at www.neckprosperity.org and complete a short survey on project priorities, view the open house presentation and presentation, and find additional project information. If you have any questions, please contact Kathryn Basha at kathrynb@bcdcog.com.

Goose Creek Hiker/Biker Trail Awarded Grant to Fight Obesity

The City of Goose Creek was awarded a $31,000 Healthy South Carolina Initiative (HSCI) grant to support active living by constructing and promote wayfinding signage along the eight-mile Goose Creek Hiker Biker Trail. Grant recipients throughout the state will use these funds to implement strategies for change that will make healthy living the easy choice for people in their communities. "The CDC estimates that nearly one out of two Americans will be obese by 2030", said Beth Barry, Chairman of the SC Eat Smart Move More Coalition. "The purpose of this funding is to prevent this estimate from becoming a reality in this state."


It is anticipated that the trail signage will promote physical activity by clearly indicating where the trail is located, include directions to points of interest, and mile markers for those who want to count the miles while they walk or bike to school, home, work or play. The City of Goose Creek has been one of the leaders in the region in implementing pedestrian and bicycle facilities. The city has accessed more than $1.9 million in state, local and federal funds to complete the trail to date.


The local Eat Smart Move Charleston-Trident County Coalition (http://eatsmartmovemoresc.org/charleston-tri-county) partners assisted with planning this active living grant who included the Trident United Way, the MUSC Boeing Center for Children's Wellness, DHEC and the BCDCOG. For more information on the Healthy South Carolina Initiative, go to www.healthysci.org.

SC Department of Commerce Presents $500,00 CDBG Check to Berkeley County

On May 1, 2012, Dale Culbreth, CDBG Grant Manager for the South Carolina Department of Commerce, presented a $500,000 ceremonial check to Berkeley County officials in recognition of the County's successful Community Enrichment Grant from the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program, approved for the St. Stephen Library Renovation project.   This grant will assist in renovating the abandoned building to provide a more energy efficient space, add space to accommodate computers, and upgrade wiring for computers at the library branch.


Once the renovations are complete, the staff can provide the tools and resources to residents to learn or acquire essential life skills: literacy, reading, technology, financial, health and social. The library will have at least ten additional computers for people to access the skills or enroll in distance learning to learn these skills. With additional computers, and a meeting room for classes, the St. Stephen Library will be the community place people go to begin or continue lifelong learning, learn or enhance employability skills, find job opportunities, complete job applications and gain insights into interviewing. The new St. Stephen Library will provide local businesses resources which will enable them be successful and grow. The successes of these small businesses in the community will be a boom to the local economy and encourage more small businesses to relocate to the area.Berkeley County has contracted with the Berkeley-Charleston-Dorchester Council of Governments for project administration. The COG will prepare and submit the initial start up check list material necessary to secure release of the funds.   The COG will also provide technical assistance once the plans are completed during the project bidding, construction phases and for labor management compliance.


In This Issue
Celebrating and Promoting Fair Housing
Our Region Our Plan Update
Partnership for Prosperity: Draft Master Plan in Refinement
Costs and Benefits of Vanpooling
Berkeley Middle School Travel Plan
Quick Links
 Regional Human Service Transportation Summit to be held 


The BCDCOG is partnering with United We Ride Transportation Ambassador Joann Hutchison in leading a workshop to identify ways to improve and implement transportation coordination and access to employment, health care and other activities of daily living for the citizens in the our region.


The purpose of the regional kick-off of the Human Services Coordination Plan is to establish efficient and effective coordinated demand-response transportation in the BCD Region.


With limited financial resources and increased requests for services, the goal is to maximize coordinated community transportation with efficient use of existing resources.


SPACE IS LIMITED so please reserve a slot by contacting the BCDOG Mobility Manager, Vonie Gilreath by email at vonieg@bcdcog.com or by phone at 529-0400 ext 202 by June 19th. 



BCDCOG Revolving Loan Fund Can Assist Local Businesses


The BCDCOG's Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) currently has funds to loan. The RLF's primary goal is job creation and retention. It is designed to assist businesses whose projects will improve the tri-county economy. Eligible uses for loans include the purchase of equipment and land, and the improvement of real estate and building facilities. Contact us today for more information.

Safe Routes to School Travel Plan Workshop Held at Berkeley Middle School 


In May, the BCDCOG led a Safe Routes to School Travel Plan Workshop at Berkeley Middle School with partners from the SC Safe Routes To School Program and SCDOT. Mayor William Peagler from the Town of Moncks Corner, along with the town administrator and police chief, provided valuable input on safety issues in and around the school.  Participants completed a walk audit around the school and then met to develop recommendations designed to improve pedestrian, bicycle and other transportation concerns. The BCDCOG staff will complete a draft plan of short and long term recommendations in the fall. For more information on the SC Safe Routes to School Program, please contact Carolyn Battaglia.


Trident Rideshare Provides Company Rideshare Sites

The BCDCOG's free Trident Rideshare program has been updated and now gives employers and schools the option to have their own rideshare matching site. Employers provide registered rideshare users with a pass code so that they can easily find a good carpool match based on user defined proximity, a variety of personal preferences, and time of commute. Registered users of the sites will be eligible for the Emergency Ride Home Program as an additional incentive to utilize alternative transportation modes.

Trident Rideshare is a free and convenient web-based service that connects commuters looking to share cars, bicycles, taxi, and transit or walking trip in the region. Sharing a ride is not only fun but it helps preserve air quality, decreases traffic congestion, conserves fuel, promotes better health and saves you money - all at the same time!