The Orangeburg Department of Public Utilities will enter into an agreement with the Bamberg Board of Public Works with the aim of improving water services for BBPW customers.

The agreement will interconnect the BBPW water system near U.S. Highway 301 and Richard Carroll Elementary School and DPU’s water system near U.S. Highway 301 and Slab Landing Road.

The connection will be done for an emergency source of immediate and long-term water supply, according to the agreement.

The project will specifically consist of the tapping into an existing 12-inch water line at Slab Landing Road and then running about 12,440 linear feet of line on U.S. 301 South. The line would go under the South Fork of the Edisto River near Bobcat Landing then run an additional 9,890 linear feet to connect to a 12-inch water main in front of Richard Carroll Elementary School.

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“We will in the future be able to provide them wholesale water, which is good for us and for them,” DPU Manager Warren Harley said about the project. “For the most part, we will gain ownership of that asset and going forward it would be a revenue for DPU being able to sell wholesale water to Bamberg Public Works.”

Orangeburg City Council unanimously voted to allow DPU to enter into the agreement with the Bamberg utility provider pending final review by the Orangeburg city attorney, Michael Kozlarek.

The project will be funded through a federal $3.7 million American Rescue Plan Act grant awarded to the BBPW as well as a South Carolina Rural Infrastructure Authority grant of $500,000.

DPU would be responsible for paying a $375,000 impact fee for the project.

BPW will oversee the project.

In other matters at the Aug. 1 council meeting, council was informed the city has settled on Canadian-based Stantec Engineering to conduct a brownfield community-wide assessment on properties the city has targeted for redevelopment.

In May, the city received a three-year, $500,000 Environmental Protection Agency Brownfield Community-wide Assessment grant.

The grant will allow the city to do brownfield studies to determine if there are any ground contamination issues in the city. Typically, brownfield projects conduct soil testings from properties formerly housing such uses as service stations, dry cleaners and industrial chemical.

“The focus of this grant will be Railroad Corner, which we are working on developing as well as our downtown corridor,” Orangeburg Assistant City Administrator John Singh said.

According to city officials, it is estimated there might be at least 16 sites to screen. There is no required local match for the grant.

Singh said while the grant will go toward studies and testing of sites, the city could also apply for a grant to actually conduct a cleanup of the sites.

Department of Public Utilities: Electric, gas rates going up; DPU manager cites rising costs

Also during the meeting, council gave unanimous second reading approval to an ordinance authorizing the lease of property at 111 and 115 Boulevard St. – the former Old State Theatre and Soda Shop at Railroad Corner – to Orangeburg County.

As part of the lease, the county will work with local photographer Cecil Williams to relocate the Cecil Williams South Carolina Civil Rights Museum as part of the redevelopment of Railroad Corner.

“I have had conservations with the county,” Orangeburg City Administrator Sidney Evering said. “They have reviewed the lease agreement. They will be providing revisions.”

Evering said once the lease agreement details are finalized, third and final reading will be made.

The proposed location for the museum has received financial help.

The Orangeburg County Legislative Delegation has secured $250,000 for the museum.

Another $700,000 in U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development funding was awarded to the city for the renovation of the old State Theatre.

In other business:

  • Harley reminded council and the public that the utility has begun the replacement of 16,000 water residential water meters throughout its service area. He said a link to the project can be found on the utility’s website. He noted contractors will be property identified, and he encouraged residents to contact the utility at 803-268-4000 if there are any questions.
  • Orangeburg Mason Drive residents Jeanne Gue and Yvonne White requested council place at least one more streetlight on their road.

Gue said most residents on the street have signed a petition requesting the lighting improvement. There are currently 10 houses on the street.

DPU moves into action during, after big storms

“We have a lot of children on our street; we have teenagers driving,” Gue said. “When you come down that street at night, because of the ponds at the end of Mason Drive and all the marsh and woodlands down there, we have deer galore. They come out of the woods in front of the cars.”

White, who often walks the neighborhood with her dog, said, “The streets are very dark at night.”

Orangeburg DPU said it will be in touch with Gue and White about their lighting concerns.

  • Council gave unanimous second reading approval to the lease of the old city gym at 1420 Broughton St. to the Orangeburg County School District to house some of the district’s old school furniture and equipment while the district conduct’s renovations to schools.

The district will lease the building for about $300 plus utilities for about two years. The city is not currently using the old city gym.

  • Council unanimously approved allowing the South Carolina Association of Municipal Power Systems (SCAMPS), of which the DPU is a member, to hire a program manager for the association.

SCAMPS consists of cities in the state that own electric utilities. The association conducts training for utilities, helps with forming mutual aid and policy making for legislation.

Get for $1 for 26 weeks

The manager would attend to the needs of all 21 SCAMPS members through training coordination. The manager also serve as a lobbyist for the S.C. Municipal Association at the Statehouse to ensure utilities have one voice in Columbia.

The manager will be employed by SCAMPS.

  • Residents were reminded about the National Night Out event on Aug. 24 from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Centennial Park in Edisto Memorial Gardens. The event will have free food, music, community vendors, games, fire trucks and activities for children.
  • Orangeburg Mayor Michael Butler encouraged all citizens to exercise the August character trait trustworthiness.
  • Prayers were offered for Councilwoman Sandra Knotts and her family upon the death of her brother, Melvin.

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

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