Last of Georgetown fire fund dispersed to victims

GEORGETOWN, S.C. (WCIV) -- Victims of the huge fire in Georgetown last October are receiving the last bit of money from a special fund set up to help them. More than $200,000 was split up between 93 people.{}

As the cleanup continues, some people are concerned the process is moving too slow.

Most store owners on Front Street say business is good.{} Parking is at a premium, and customers are coming through their doors.{} But off camera, they say they're frustrated that it's taking so long for clean up from last year's fire.

Brick by brick, workers are salvaging what they can from last October's disaster.{} Property owners say hazards from asbestos are complicating the cleanup.{} And some neighbors complain the process of getting rid of the eyesore is too slow.

"As you can imagine, it's a huge job and it's just going to take some time.{} But things are moving forward," said Al Joseph, a member of the Georgetown Business Association.

He isn't involved in the cleanup.{} But says the city has already spent $100,000 to repair the harbor side.{} For now, he's working to let locals and tourists know that Georgetown is still open for business.

"What we do from here is just make sure people are aware that Georgetown is still here.{} It's still vibrant.{} A lot of things still going on.{} The Georgetown Business Association is working very hard to do that," said Joseph.

Sweeties Chocolate Store is next to the fire destruction. Employees say they're seeing more customers, and those customers are still talking about the tragedy. {} {}

"They're saying you know how devastating it looks to see the fire.{} But they're still saying that Georgetown is still a nice pretty, pleasant historical place.{} And that's what they come here for," said Miller.

City leaders weren't available for comment. {}

However, Al Joseph says work is being done behind the scenes to redevelop this property, but he says it's going to take time to make sure it's done the right way.{}{}