Pickens Innovation Center applies for $90K ARC grant

Courtesy photo
Owned and operated by Mark Burgess, right, the Burgess General Store was one of Pickens’ newest businesses who had a booth set up at the Pickens Innovation Center’s Commercialization Day “Launch” on Monday.

By Pamela Dodson

Staff Reporter


PICKENS — The city of Pickens is growing, and with this new growth comes opportunity.

At Monday night’s city council meeting, officials said the Pickens Innovation Center, which has helped start 13 new businesses within the city, applied for an Appalachian Regional Commission grant of $90,000 to help sustain the center in making plans for future growth.

[cointent_lockedcontent]The ARC is a regional economic development agency that represents a partnership of federal, state and local government. Established by an act of Congress in 1965, ARC is composed of the governors of the 13 Appalachian states and a federal co-chair, who is appointed by the president. Local participation is provided through multi-county local development districts. ARC invests in activities that address the five goals identified in the commission’s strategic plan, which are economic opportunities, ready workforce, critical infrastructure, natural and cultural assets and leadership and community capacity.

The Innovation Center and its corporate sponsors held a Commercialization Day “Launch” to introduce the 13 new businesses to the community on Monday. During the launch, new technology developed for high-speed police pursuits was introduced in a “go-live” event in preparation to enter the market, as well as showing the potential for future growth in Pickens.

It was also announced during the meeting that the Pickens Azalea Festival Committee plans to offer a free booth to the 13 new businesses from the center.

In other business, council members approved a 20-year lease agreement with Allco in partnership with the City of Easley for the Rotary Doodle Park and passed the second reading that will allow a fourth supplemental water and sewer revenue bond to allow for issuance, sales and refunding of bonds and to amend the general bond ordinance on 2010-13.

DonnieMcKinneyCouncilman Donnie McKinney was recognized by mayor David Owens and the rest of council for graduating on Feb. 2 from Municipal Elected Officials Institute. The Municipal Elected Officials Institute consists of both in-person and online courses. Elected officials who complete all of the required coursework receive a certificate and graduate from the institute.

“With the exception of our new council member, Lois Porter (who has started the program), all other council members and the mayor have graduated from the Elected Officials Institute,” city administrator Bruce Evilsizor said.

Pickens City Council will meet again for a work session on March 21 before its next regular monthly meeting April 4.