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DENMARK – Construction of the new Denmark City Hall and the Regional Medical Center's Bamberg-Barnwell Emergency Medical Center is on schedule, with both facilities expected to be completed before the end of the year, officials reported at August's Denmark City Council meeting.

Mayor Dr. Gerald E. Wright has previously said the new city hall would be completed this November.

The Bamberg-Barnwell Emergency Medical Center is slated to open before the end of this year. Denmark City Administrator Heyward Robinson said town public works employees have made good progress on the extension of water and sewer lines to the facility and everything appears to be on schedule with it.

“The water and sewer lines for the new emergency center are under construction. The water lines are completed to the stage where they can soon be connected," Robinson said.

“The area for the sewer lift station is being cleared. Plans to run electricity to the sewer lift station are underway,” he added.

Wright said, “The emergency medical center is a joint effort of four counties -- Orangeburg and Calhoun counties, where the hospital (RMC) originates and Bamberg and Barnwell counties, which are the counties (that will be) served.”

“We are part of something that is seen as good for the area … . The city played a significant role in helping bring the emergency medical center to Denmark by providing water and sewer to the facility,” the mayor added.

During the meeting, Robinson recommended council name the new city hall the Dr. Gerald E. Wright Building in honor of the mayor because he has been part of the leadership responsible for the new facility.

Wright recused himself from participating in this discussion, citing potential conflict of interest.

Councilwoman Bonnie Love made the motion to name the building for Wright, and the motion was unanimously approved.

Councilman Calvin Odom said the council appreciated Wright not getting the town into further debt by helping secure grants and other funds for the city hall construction.

Also during the meeting, council gave first-reading approval to franchise agreements with SCE&G and Edisto Electric Cooperative. Robinson said both proposed franchise agreements are for 30 years and at franchise fees of 5 percent.

A public hearing on the franchise agreements is set for 6:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 17, the administrator said. Second-reading approval of both agreements will be considered at Denmark City Council's regular meeting immediately following the public hearing.

In other business:

  • Police Chief Leroy Grimes reported the police department had 35 new cases last month. He also noted that the department was presented a certificate of appreciation from the Denmark Summer Recreation program for its participation. In addition, the department received a plaque for sponsoring one of the soccer teams.
  • Cedric Hudson of the public works department reported nine water leaks were repaired last month. He said the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control collected new water samples from all the town's wells and the public works department performed an annual Environmental Resource Associates Proficiency test for pH and chlorine meters.
  • Robinson congratulated public works employee Travis Clark on passing his Class D Water Distribution Examination.
  • The administrator, in the absence of the fire chief, reported the fire department responded to eight calls in July.
  • Odom announced the Pedestrian Planning Committee will sponsor a cleanup day from 8:30-11 a.m. this Saturday, Aug. 25, at Simmons Park. He also announced the Denmark-Olar High School class of 1979 will hold a Back to School Bash at the park during the day and distribute school supplies to children who may not have already received supplies at previous events.

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