Orangeburg County Council has unanimously agreed to purchase the rear portion of Dairy-O’s property on Russell Street.

“This is a piece of property that we feel that we need to get that is contiguous to the property the city of Orangeburg has in downtown Orangeburg for a joint project we are working on,” Orangeburg County Administrator Harold Young said Monday during a special called meeting of Orangeburg County Council.

Young stressed the county is not purchasing the Dairy-O restaurant.

“It is not curly burgers and fries,” Young said. “The Orangeburg institution – we are not messing with that.”

Young declined to provide specifics on what the property is being purchased for, saying the county is looking at a number of options and has not decided what its specific plans will be.

It is the second piece of property the county has targeted for purchase in the same block of Russell Street.

People are also reading…

In February, County Council gave unanimous first reading approval to the purchase of 2.32 acres at 1480 Russell Street for about $675,000.

The purchase only received one of three readings. County officials declined to provide specifics on the property purchase.

The City of Orangeburg purchased the former Thunderbird motel at 465 Orange Street behind the Dairy-O for about $100,000 in December 2021. The city has targeted that property as potential workforce housing.

In other matters:

• Council discussed whether members should be given the option of attending meetings virtually. A proposed ordinance on the matter was sent to the administration committee.

“We know this is not something that will give us an out not to come to council meetings,” Orangeburg County Council Chair Johnnie Wright said. “We would use it just in case something came up and we need to have you there – you can use this for that. If we keep that in the right context, I think we will be fine.”

Councilmen Kenneth McCaster and Johnny Ravenell echoed Wright’s concerns about the ordinance opening the door to abuse by members not attending in person.

“I think our constituents want us to be there in person and I think it is very important. We need to be there in person,” McCaster said.

“Just a blanket, let any council member say, ‘Hey, I am not coming today,’ I think that is going to be a bad look on us as council and that is going to be a bad look as far as our constituents are concerned,” McCaster said.

County attorney D’Anne Haydel said if a council member abuses the privilege, constituents could vote the member out of office.

McCaster said that could lead to a four-year process of agony for constituents.

Councilwoman Janie Cooper-Smith agreed with the ordinance and said over the past two decades, council members have not missed in-person meetings except for emergencies.

Cooper-Smith said a member should not be on council if they have no intention of coming to in-person meetings.

Wright said while current council members are diligent in attending meetings in-person, he’s concerned about creating an ordinance for future council members to follow.

“We might have to come up with something with a little more teeth,” Wright said. “We are making rules that will be in place for when we are gone.”

• Council gave unanimous first reading by title only to the county’s budget and its 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 2022-2023 fiscal year.

Young said there will be 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.

#pu-email-form-daily-email-article { clear: both; background-color: #fff; color: #222; background-position: bottom; background-repeat: no-repeat; padding: 15px 0 20px; margin-bottom: 40px; border-top: 4px solid rgba(0,0,0,.8); border-bottom: 1px solid rgba(0,0,0,.2); display: none; } #pu-email-form-daily-email-article, #pu-email-form-daily-email-article p { font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, “Segoe UI”, Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif, “Apple Color Emoji”, “Segoe UI Emoji”, “Segoe UI Symbol”; } #pu-email-form-daily-email-article h1 { font-size: 24px; margin: 15px 0 5px 0; font-family: “serif-ds”, Times, “Times New Roman”, serif; } #pu-email-form-daily-email-article .lead { margin-bottom: 5px; } #pu-email-form-daily-email-article .email-desc { font-size: 16px; line-height: 20px; margin-bottom: 5px; opacity: 0.7; } #pu-email-form-daily-email-article form { padding: 10px 30px 5px 30px; } #pu-email-form-daily-email-article .disclaimer { opacity: 0.5; margin-bottom: 0; line-height: 100%; } #pu-email-form-daily-email-article .disclaimer a { color: #222; text-decoration: underline; } #pu-email-form-daily-email-article .email-hammer { border-bottom: 3px solid #222; opacity: .5; display: inline-block; padding: 0 10px 5px 10px; margin-bottom: -5px; font-size: 16px; } @media (max-width: 991px) { #pu-email-form-daily-email-article form { padding: 10px 0 5px 0; } }

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes:

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>