Orangeburg County Council plans to have a public planning meeting to discuss redistricting and then finalize the proposed redistricting map at a council retreat scheduled for Friday, Jan. 28, at 10 a.m.

The purpose of this hearing is to receive public comments on the proposed council redistricting plan.

Council gave unanimous second reading to an ordinance to redistrict council districts on Thursday.

The new maps can be viewed at or in the GIS office, located in the Administrative Center Building, 1437 Amelia St. in Orangeburg. The GIS office is located on the third floor.

The public can present their views about the maps no later than Thursday, Jan. 27. 

Citizens are also encouraged to present their views either via email no later than noon on the Thursday Jan. 27, to cportee@ or by calling into the conference line before the public hearing begins 1-803-7282070 PIN 638 715 899#

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Hard copies of the maps will be available for review as well.

Sprucing up the county

Council unanimously agreed to engage New Image Landscaping for $114,915 to work on landscape and irrigation at the Lake Edisto Park project.

The park will feature canoe park, boardwalk and an S.C. Department of Natural Resources office. A dog park will also be planned at the site. It will be located on Lake Edisto Road.

The project is being built in County Council District 6 with proceeds from the 1% capital projects sales tax.

The park will also include walking trails and fitness stations.

Council also unanimously OK’d New Image Landscaping handling landscaping at county and industrial properties for $29,911 annually. The contract is for three years.

Young said while New Image was not the lowest of the bids, the other bidder added an additional caveat that would have charged the county $97.50 an hour for any work outside of the scope of the contract parameters.

“There is always additional stuff that we have to do outside of the scope,” Young said. “At $97.50 an hour would make us way beyond what we could pay if we would accept the wholistic bid that new Image Landscaping put in place.”

Other business

  • Council unanimously voted to pave various dirt access roads in the county using “C” fund monies.

“C funds” come from the state gasoline tax. They’re distributed to each of 46 counties based on population, land area and rural road mileage. The money is to be used for repairs, maintenance and improvements to the state highway system.

The county has about 60 access roads totaling about 11 miles that have been dirt access roads for years, but as the number of houses has increased on the roads the county’s maintenance costs has increased.

Having the roads paved is cited as a cost savings by county officials. The paving of access roads would be prioritized based on usage and need.

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The specific roads under consideration were not identified.

  • Council gave unanimous third and final reading to a fee-in-lieu-of-taxes agreement with an existing Neeses solar farm that plans to invest $46.2 million in solar equipment and panels.

The solar farm, located at 238 Juniper St. in Neeses, would pay the county $105,000 annually for the next 30 years with an additional $100,000 paid in the first year.

No new full-time jobs were promised as part of the project.

A public hearing was held on the project. There were no comments made during the public hearing.

  • Council gave unanimous third and final reading the rezoning of property near the Santee State Park to allow for the development of a recreational vehicle park resort, retail stores and single-family homes.

The property is located at the corner of State Park Road and Acorn Lane.

  • Council gave unanimous third and final reading to a rezoning request from an adjacent property owner who wants property rezoned from commercial general to forest-agriculture for the purpose of preserving agricultural land.

The property covers about 144 acres and is currently undeveloped. There were no comments in opposition to the request and two comments in support.

  • Council unanimously voted not add 400 feet of Hollis Road near the Town of Santee to the county’s maintenance system. The county was asked to investigate the matter by a property owner on the road and was previously approved by the county’s public works committee.
  • Council unanimously approved the letters of condition to allow it to get reimbursed for items it has purchased for its emergency services department.

The county had previously received U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development Community Facility grants toward the purchase of about $1 million in equipment including a hazmat truck, rescue airbags for both the Orangeburg and Bowman regions and cardiac monitors for the Emergency Medical Services department.

  • Council gave unanimous approval to its budget calendar for the 2023 fiscal year. The county’s fiscal year runs from July 1 through June 30.
  • Council agreed to get more legal counsel before getting the approval to exempt its bidding process from the county’s procurement code to replace roofs at the county sheriff’s and coroner’s offices. 

The buildings, which were constructed about 50 years ago, are in need of new roofs.

Council had previously approved to award TeamCraft Roofing Inc. $416,048 to do the project but questions arose about the bidding process and the procurement code.

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