ST. GEORGE — Dorchester County officials broke ground Monday morning on a future industrial site in St. George.
Sen. John Matthews, D-Bowman, said the groundbreaking should be looked at as a “game changer” for the entire region, including Orangeburg County.
“We are trying to create seven Class-A industrial parks in upper Dorchester and lower Orangeburg County,” Matthews said. “This is the first one in Dorchester County.”
The Winding Woods Commerce Park is being developed at a 610-acre site at the corner of Winding Woods Road and U.S. Highway 78.
Matthews described Winding Woods as “one of Dorchester County’s key business assets.”
“Infrastructure investment was the last major hurdle to overcome in this process and through efforts by many, we can now support businesses in this part of the county,” he said.
Matthews said there are plans to build another industrial park in Dorchester County and to expand the Lake Marion Regional Water Authority system to include Holly Hill, Harleyville and St. George.
“It makes the region ready for when we compete for these new jobs and opportunities opening up in 2014,” he said. “It is another link in the chain that fulfills what we need in upper Dorchester County and lower Orangeburg County.”
Matthews said not only does the $3.6 million project bring in needed water and sewer infrastructure, but jobs created in Dorchester County will mean jobs for Orangeburg County.
“Santee and St. George are only about 15 minutes away,” he said. “People are willing to travel 30 miles to go to work. It will strengthen the region.”
Santee Cooper and Edisto Electric Cooperative will help supply the park with power. The water to serve the site will be provided by the Dorchester County Water Authority.
In addition to the groundbreaking, Matthews presented a check to Dorchester County for $1 million from the Upper Dorchester County Economic Development Fund to contribute to the county’s infrastructure investment project.
Matching funds included a $2.1 million loan from Santee Cooper, in addition to water and sewer impact fees.
“This celebration marks a big step forward for Dorchester County,” Dorchester County Council Chairman Larry Hargett said.
“Winding Woods Commerce Park is a culmination of hard work and strategic planning that will bring future jobs to the St. George area.”
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