Orangeburg County Council has agreed to provide the Orangeburg County School District with eight additional school resource officers this school year.

Council unanimously passed a resolution last week to designate deputies as school resource officers at select schools in the district.

The resolution will bring the total number of Orangeburg County Sheriff’s Office SROs in the district to 16.

The SROs are placed in schools based on the request of the district, according to Sheriff Leroy Ravenell.

The OCSO declined to provide a list of schools that have SROs for security reasons.

Earlier this year, the sheriff’s office renewed its contract with the school district to continue to provide resource officers and security detail at schools.

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The school resource officers are paid with funds from the S.C. Department of Education. The S.C. Department of Public Safety Office of Highway Safety and Justice administers the program.

In addition to the OCSO-provided SROs, the district also partners with the North Police Department and the Orangeburg Department of Public Safety for SRO services.

In other business:

• Council unanimously agreed to provide a 10% match for the S.C. Department of Commerce’s Community Development Block grant for the purchase of a pumper truck for the Orangeburg County Fire District.

The pumper truck is projected to cost about $500,000 and would go to the Eutawville Fire Department to replace a used, older pumper that has reached its useful life.

County fire officials say the cost of a pumper truck has skyrocketed over the past few years, noting a few years ago three pumpers could be purchased for about $500,000.

• Council unanimously gave County Administrator Harold Young the authority to enter into a lease-purchase agreement with Caterpillar Financial Services Corporation for the purchase of heavy equipment from Blanchard Machinery Company.

Council allowed Young to go ahead and purchase the equipment due to ongoing supply chain issues facing the country.

• Council unanimously passed a resolution waiving the county’s right to purchase property owned by Red Collar Pet Foods Inc. at the Orangeburg County Industrial Park off U.S. Highway 21.

Restrictive covenants at the park give the county and the city the first right to repurchase the property. The company has sold the property.

Council also unanimously voted to transfer the tax incentives under Red Collar Pet Foods to the new owner.

Young said the new owner is not expecting to make changes to company operations.

Red Collar Pet Foods purchased Doane Pet Care Company about four years ago.

A call placed to the company was not immediately returned.

• Council passed a resolution honoring Sheriff Leroy Ravenell for his July 13 election as the president of the South Carolina Sheriff’s Association. In his position, Ravenell will represent the state on a national level.

Ravenell has served as the sheriff of the county since January 2011.

Council members praised Ravenell’s service and Young said the county administration “supports the blue” and “will do anything we can to back you guys.”

Ravenell received a standing ovation for his service.

• Council appointed Kenneth Cudjoe to the Orangeburg County Planning Commission District 3 seat and Wilmont Berry to the District 7 seat.

• An Orangeburg County Code Enforcement and Animal Services meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, Aug. 30 at 5:30 p.m. at the Orangeburg County Library and Conference Center.

The guest speaker will be Best Friends Animal Society legislative attorney Kelsey Gilmore-Futeral.

• It was announced Orangeburg County Clerk to Council Connie Portee was elected to serve as president of the state’s Clerk to Council Association.

Young is currently serving as the vice president of the South Carolina Association of Counties Managers, Administrators and Supervisors Association and Council Chair Johnnie Wright is coming off service as the past president of the SCAC.

“Orangeburg is on the ball,” Councilwoman Deloris Frazier said about all the statewide leadership positions held by county officials.

• Council went into closed session to receive an economic development update on a project currently publicly identified by the code name Project Sea.

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