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Horne Wetlands

Two Department of Public Utilities workers pressure wash the boardwalk near the entrance of the Horne Wetlands Park. The park has been shut down since 2015 due to weather damage.

The City of Orangeburg plans to begin work on its Horne Wetlands Park in Edisto Memorial Gardens next month.

Orangeburg City Council members on Monday agreed to let the city administrator enter into a contract with J.D. Gaskins Construction Inc. of Aiken to renovate the park’s boardwalk.

The renovation project was put out for bid twice this year, with J.D. Gaskins Construction being the sole bidder each time.

The $402,000 contract will be signed this week, according to City Administrator John Yow.

The renovation project will include the repair of portions of the wooden boardwalk and the complete replacement of other portions of the boardwalk.

The 2,700-foot boardwalk suffered what city officials deemed “significant” damage to nearly 750 linear feet of the boardwalk at various locations during to the 2015 flood and Hurricane Matthew in 2016.

The boardwalk has been shut down since 2015. The construction will restore the boardwalk, which was built in 1991, to its original condition.

According to city officials, extensive engineering was completed by Chris Wigginton of Technika Engineering to ensure that the boardwalk will be code compliant and able to withstand future flooding.

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Construction is set to begin the week of July 8 and a completion date is slated for 180 days after work begins.

“The damage was done from two different storms and FEMA requires you to treat it as two occurrences. First, FEMA allocated $265,000 and after it was bid, we had to go back to FEMA and get their approval to bid it again,” Yow said.

Also during the meeting:

• Barbara Beach of the Orangeburg County Fine Arts Center appeared before council requesting a retirement plan and benefits for the center’s full-time employee. The council said they will look further into the matter.

• Adeline Yon of Clifton Circle appeared before council to request an update on the revitalization of the city. Yon stated that there are several issues that need to be addressed, including the upkeep of buildings in the downtown area, the need for more businesses downtown and the need for a shelter for the homeless. Council thanked Yon for expressing her concerns and said they are working to address all of the issues she mentioned.

• Council approved a motion authorizing the city administrator to enter into a property and annexation agreement and also passed a resolution in a separate motion to annex property owned by the city into the city’s corporate limits. The property is located behind Walmart on North Road.

• William Green appeared before council to provide an update on his efforts to host an anti-bullying forum. Green informed city officials at the previous council meeting that he intends to host the event at the county library.

Green stated that he has secured speakers from organizations across the state.

In a separate matter, Green presented council with a copy of a letter he called “threatening.” The letter tells Green to stay out of city council meetings.

Council members reviewed the letter and said they will look into the matter.

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Contact the writer: bharris@timesanddemocrat.com or 803-533-5516.

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Staff Writer

Bradley Harris is a Government and Sports Reporter. The Irmo, SC native is a 2018 graduate of Claflin University and recipient of the 2018 South Carolina Press Association Collegiate Journalist of the Year Award.

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