Orangeburg County Council redraws district boundaries; Aiken Electric’s Broadband Project to Receive Incentive | Local


Orangeburg County Council has taken the first step in redrawing the boundaries of council districts to bring them into line with the 2020 census.

The Council only gave the first reading by title to a redistribution plan last week.

The 2020 U.S. Census did not find any drastic changes in the population of council districts.

Even so, the council is considering modifying district lines that deviate from the norm. For example, Sprinkle Avenue currently has three city districts representing a single street: City Districts 2, 3, and 7.

The 2020 census revealed that the population of Orangeburg County is 84,223, compared to 92,501 in the 2010 census.

The new census figures mean that each of the county council’s seven districts should ideally have an equal population of 12,032. Each municipal district has lost population in the past ten years.

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Municipal District 3 experienced the greatest population loss with approximately 1,466 people, a decrease of 11%. District 2 lost about 10% and District 4 was down about 9.3%, according to figures from the Orangeburg County GIS.

Despite the population decline, the council’s seven districts currently fall within the federal standard of being within 10% of the ideal of 12,032.

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Council District 3 is 3.3% away from the 12,032 ideal. District 6 is 2.6% away and District 5 is 1.6% away. the other districts all being less than 1%.

In addition to equalizing the population, the redistribution must ensure that the voting rights of minorities are not diluted or diminished by changing the map.

Redistribution must be authorized by the US Department of Justice. The redistribution process should be completed by the time the tabling of elections for council seats begins.

Council Districts 1, 6 and 7 are running for election in 2022.

Council members agreed to meet individually or in pairs with county mapping officials to review the maps before meeting as a whole council for a workshop on the redistribution process.

The county redistribution process will require three public readings and a public hearing before final approval. The public will be able to view the maps prior to final approval.

• The Board unanimously gave a second reading order providing for a fee in lieu of tax incentive to Aiken Electric Cooperative and its subsidiary AECONNECT Inc. to invest $ 19 million in the technology placement of Aiken Electric Cooperative. fiber optics and broadband in currently unserved rural areas in the western part of the county.

The agreement is set for 30 years at a contribution rate of 6%.

The project will provide broadband services to areas such as Springfield, North, Wolfton and Woodford.

Work will begin in areas around Springfield early next year and then around the north by mid to year end.

No new jobs are expected as a result of the project.

• The Council unanimously adopted the third and final reading of an ordinance granting businesses an additional month to pay their trade license taxes without late penalties.

The change brings the county into compliance with a new state law.

The law will make April 30 the expiration date for statewide business licenses. The penalty for non-payment of the license fee will begin in May.

• Charleston-based GFI Partners plans to spend $ 750,000 to renovate the former Ambler Industries and ACO Distribution & Warehousing Inc. building on Woodbine Road.

The 230,000 square foot building will be marketed for a manufacturing or distribution company.

The council unanimously gave the third and final reading of an ordinance placing the speculative building in a multi-county industrial park. The County Common Industrial Park is not a physical park but an incentive mechanism used to attract economic development.

• Council unanimously approved a lease-to-own agreement allowing the Orangeburg County Fire District to purchase four trucks.

“This is something that will benefit them as they will be able to replace trucks that they could not replace without the rental program,” county administrator Harold Young said.

• Council voted unanimously to abandon public maintenance on portions of Junction Road near Norway and Forestry Road near Eutawville. $ 5 for 5 months

Maintenance has been halted on both roads, but the roads will remain open until landowners request the roads to be closed through a court-ordered process.

The owners of Junction Road said the road has become a four-wheeler paradise and a stopping point for traffic.

Forestry Road has been used as a site for illegal dumping and other activities, Council Chairman Johnnie Wright said. The road is in the Wright district.

Carolina Pole Inc. has a plant on the road and plans to improve its entrance away from existing CSX tracks in an effort to improve vehicle safety.

• The board passed an emergency ordinance allowing electronic board meetings to continue due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The lawsuit is based on lower than desired vaccination rates in the county as well as a moderate incidence rate of COVID.

• City Councilor Deloris Frazier congratulated and thanked all of the volunteers who helped coordinate the festivities for the South Carolina State University Orchestra’s final home game and weekend. A number of groups came to the university from across the state.

• Frazier also noted a recent appearance on national television by US Naval Academy Brigade Commander Jackie Booker, originally from Orangeburg, to commemorate Veterans Day. Booker appeared on television before a National Football League game on FOX television.

• It was mentioned that the SC Economic Development Association and the SC Association for Hazard Mitigation used the new county library and conference center for a statewide conference.


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