Whether referring to the city or the county, Orangeburg is a "community."

Leaders are passionate about their home.

Orangeburg Mayor Michael Butler says the camaraderie among elected officials in the city and Orangeburg County Council is a key to success for the future of all of Orangeburg.

“We can’t do without each other,” Butler said.

The relationship that city and county leaders have is “awesome.”

Next month, they will meet to discuss how to address additional projects in a unified approach, he said.

Orangeburg County Council Chairman Johnnie Wright Sr. said, “When you look at Orangeburg County from where we were and where we are, there’s teamwork and we’re working together for the future generations.”

Wright said among the greatest resources in Orangeburg are the people.

“We have our challenges, but we have done well in working together with the City of Orangeburg, the Orangeburg County Chamber of Commerce and the Tri-County Regional Chamber of Commerce.”

Wright said The One Orangeburg County Initiative -- a grassroots campaign launched in January 2016 comprised of 100 Orangeburg County leaders aiming to identify actionable priorities that will make a significant impact on the county by 2021 -- helps bridge stakeholders and keeps the momentum going in the same direction.

“We try to come together as a team,” Wright said.

“I think there are a lot of positive efforts as we prepare ourselves for growth and coming together as a united Orangeburg County,” he said. “We all need each other.”

Orangeburg County, the state's second largest in land area, is home to 90,000 people, 70,000 of whom live within a 15-mile radius of the City of Orangeburg. A unique marriage of urban and rural, the county also has 16 other municipalities spanning the map from Eutawville and Vance in the east to Springfield in the west.

Butler said one of the ways cities and towns benefit through countywide efforts is the Capital Project Sales Tax, often called the “penny tax.”

As a result of generating an additional penny on every dollar spent in Orangeburg County, infrastructure projects throughout the county come to fruition.

Butler said there are other ways city and county leaders work together to improve the community.

“We share the demolition of dilapidated buildings,” Butler said, noting that county resources helped city employees move materials to the landfill.

Other joint efforts include decreasing the Orangeburg County airport tax and establishing the fire tax district.

Contact the writer: mbrown@timesanddemocrat.com or 803-533-5545. Follow on Twitter: @MRBrownTandD

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Crime Reporter

Martha Rose Brown covers crime and other topics. The South Carolina native has been a journalist for the past 15 years.

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