Twingate used data from the FBI’s Internet Crime Report to find the most damaging cybercrimes in each state, including crime type and average damages reported.

Orangeburg County is going to spend about $3.7 million for the second phase of broadband installation in the Neeses area.

South Carolina-based Utility Service Contractors Inc. was awarded the $3.7 million contract for the broadband project.

County Council gave unanimous approval to the work during its regularly scheduled Monday meeting.

The broadband expansion project will be completely funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Orangeburg County Administrator Harold Young said a sole source bid was accepted due to the company having access to the supplies needed to do the project.

The work will begin “as soon as the cable is received,” Young said.

“A lot of that is in the works,” Young continued. “It is experiencing delays, but hopefully we will get it as soon as possible.”

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Young said some of the project is already under construction.

“I am glad to hear that the western end is getting something,” Councilman Joseph Garvin said.

Many of his constituents have been inquiring about broadband, he said. “We are still doing something. I keep telling them it is coming, it is coming.”

Young confirmed: “It is coming.”

In other business:

• Council gave second reading to the rezoning of .53 acres at 224 Roosevelt Street in Elloree to commercial general for a community center to be used for children’s dance lessons and community events.

Developers say they want a venue in Elloree to provide extracurricular activities for children.

The county received 38 signatures opposed to the request, with many expressing concerns about noise and traffic.

Councilwoman Janie Cooper-Smith voted against the rezoning request.

The county’s Planning Commission had previously voted 5-1 in favor of the rezoning.

• Council gave unanimous first reading by title only to the county’s budget and the budget for Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College, public and special education purposes.

The first reading is the first step in the process of the county’s budget preparation for the 2023-2024 fiscal year.

The county plans to have meetings, budget work sessions and outside agency hearings as part of the budget formulation process.

The county’s fiscal year runs from July 1 through June 30.

• Council gave unanimous approval to a resolution authorizing fee-and-lieu incentives for an economic development project locating in Dorchester County. A company is looking to invest about $60 million to construct two speculative buildings in that county.

Orangeburg County will receive about 1% of the fees the company pays, with Dorchester County receiving about 99 percent of the fees.

• Council read a proclamation recognizing May as Building Safety Month. The theme is “It Starts with You” and encourages all to highlight and build awareness of the importance of building safety.

The month is sponsored by the International Code Council.

• Council read a proclamation naming April 30 as the Rev. Dr. George Edward Hicks Day. Hicks was born on April 30, 1953 and received his master’s and doctoral degrees from South Carolina State College.

Hicks is a professor of education at South Carolina State University.

Hicks has also served as teacher, principal, assistant principal and is also a pastor of the African Methodist Episcopal Church for over 25 years.

• Bowman Town Councilman Ike Carter said the town is a finalist for the Municipal Association of South Carolina’s Community Development Association Award of Excellence.

The projects submitted for the award were the town’s remodeled medical center and the new library.

• Demario Davis, founder of the nonprofit Leadership, Education, Awareness and Mobility (LEAM) organization, introduced himself and asked for council’s support in providing educational and recreational opportunities for children in Bowman.

Council Vice Chair Johnny Ravenell asked Davis to bring the children to a future meeting.

• Orangeburg County Council Chairman Johnnie Wright was absent due to a family matter.

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