Orangeburg County will enter into an emergency agreement with MedTrust Medical Transport, LLC to provide supplemental emergency medical services for the county.

The county will enter into a three-year agreement with the transport company with the first year’s payment totaling $1,094,824.

According to the agreement, the contract payments will be adjusted annually on the agreement’s anniversary date for each remaining year.

Orangeburg County Council gave County Administrator Harold Young the authority to negotiate with the company on the agreement.

“This is to help augment the EMS service when we have to provide additional trucks and help provide the best services to the citizens of Orangeburg County,” Young said.

Young said the contract will provide two additional ambulances for the county and the contract will include the cost of the ambulance and the personnel.

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“We have done this before. During the height of COVID, we added extra trucks and that helped provide additional services,” Young said. “It keeps the current staff we have now because of the shortage from being burned out from running as many calls.”

One of the trucks will be located at John C. Calhoun Drive across from the Biddie Banquet and the other will be based on call volume and will most likely be stationed either in the eastern or western end of the county, Young said.

On a good day, the county has access to about seven ambulances countywide, Young said. On an average day, it has about four.

Young praised emergency medical employees in attendance at the meeting for their dedication and work in service of the county as well as thanking other emergency and law enforcement personnel for their response during the recent Tropical Storm Idalia.

Council took up the following matters during a meeting last week:

• Council gave unanimous first reading by title only to an ordinance dissolving the Regional Medical Center board of trustees. The legacy board will be dissolved Oct. 1.

Both Orangeburg and Calhoun County councils have to agree to dissolve the board as both counties own the hospital.

The legacy board has been in place since March 1, when the Medical University of South Carolina took over operations of the hospital.

MUSC entered into a 99-year lease for $1 a year with the hospital. The partnership was deemed necessary to help the hospital, which was consistently operating with significant deficits.

The legacy RMC Board has been responsible for closing out and maintaining specific financial accounts, such as payroll obligations, fees and pending litigation matters. Officials say the board has fulfilled its responsibilities.

• Council unanimously gave third and final reading approval to Florida-based Civil Design Engineering LLC’s proposal to build three restaurants, about 14,000 square feet of retail space, a hotel, 10 apartment buildings, a playground and on-site parking on about 30 acres of property at 410 Cannon Bridge Road.

The property is across the street from Sunshine Recycling.

Company officials have requested the property be rezoned from business industrial to a planned-use development district to pave the way for the development.

The targeted construction date is the fourth quarter of 2024.

According to the project site plan, the restaurants and hotel will front Cannon Bridge Road. The retail and residential establishments will be located behind the restaurants.

There’s currently a vacant home on the site. Access to the property is on Cannon Bridge Road.

The Orangeburg County Planning Commission previously unanimously approved the rezoning request.

• Council unanimously approved the recommendation of the county’s Tax and Tourism Committee to provide the following funds: $15,000 to the Elloree Palmetto Jockey Club for advertising the 59th year of the Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racing event; $20,000 to Santee Cooper Country for advertising related to their 2023-2024 marketing plan; $18,000 to the Tri-County Regional Chamber of Commerce for advertising; and $50,000 to South Carolina State University for promotion and sponsorship of the Buddy Pough television show.

• Council unanimously agreed to enter into an agreement with Kelsey Gunter Enterprises LLC for the purchase of six preconfigured electronics cabinets and seven preconfigured passive optical network cabinets for its broadband system. The total cost is about $83,750.

The fiber optic cabinets are designed to protect fiber optic cable from environmental conditions.

• Council unanimously voted to discontinue maintenance on a portion of Moravinger Drive in Orangeburg.

The road connects Riverbank Drive and North Road.

Some property owners on the road requested maintenance be abandoned with plans to privately improve the road’s drainage.

Property owners on the road were contacted, with 13 not responding, five in agreement to discontinue maintenance and three opposed, according to county officials.

A traffic counter was placed on the road and it calculated 145 cars traveled that portion of the road over a seven-day period. The road is not a school bus route nor does anybody live on that portion of the road.

• The Orangeburg County Voter Registration and Election Board will conduct the Elloree and Eutawville municipal elections scheduled for Nov. 7. Council gave unanimous first reading approval to the change last week.

In Elloree, seats for Council District 2, represented by LaKeisha Pauling Ellison, and Council District 3, represented by Jefferson Chip Davis, are up for election. A water commissioner seat currently held by Hugh McLaurin is also up for election.

Ellison has filed for re-election to the District 2 seat, while Luke Hartung and James Kelly Ulmer have filed for the District 3 seat.

In Eutawville, two council seats currently held by Christopher Barker and Harry Lee Brown are up for election. Brown has filed for re-election to town council.

• Council unanimously passed a resolution honoring Louvicia Kate Boneparte Jackson’s service to Orangeburg County.

Jackson turns 100 on Oct. 4. Jackson has been an active member of her church and community over the years.

Councilman Johnny Ravenell sponsored the resolution.

• Councilwoman Latisha Walker thanked all those who have helped with the Tiffany Grant Foundation’s Blessing Box initiative. The program provides the area’s homeless population non-perishable food items. The items are located at two of the city’s fire departments.

• Ravenell informed the public about a parade scheduled for Adelle Julie Thompson at noon Saturday, Oct. 7. The parade lineup will begin at 11:30 a.m.

Thompson is celebrating her 108th birthday. The parade will begin at Parlerville AME Church at 416 Pinewood Drive in the Santee Park Area off of Cleveland Street.

Individuals are asked to remain in their cars.

• Council Chairman Johnnie Wright asked the public to keep Councilwoman Janie Cooper Smith in prayer due to the passing away of her husband Wallace Wendell Smith on Aug. 30.

• Young wished his wife, Cassandra, a happy 25th wedding anniversary.

Contact the writer: or 803-533-5551. Check out Zaleski on Twitter at @ZaleskiTD.

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