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Orangeburg County is planning to borrow $7 million to pay for a number of projects.

The county is borrowing the money to pay for roof work at the county administration building, roof work at the county agriculture building, the courthouse elevator, economic development projects and other efforts.

The borrowing package is designed so it will not increase county taxes, County Administrator Harold Young said.

Council unanimously agreed last week to issue up to $7 million in general obligation bonds to pay for the projects.

In a related matter, the county will negotiate with a contractor who sought to do the courthouse renovation project. Young wants to see if the county can get a price that allows it to move forward with the effort.

While the contractor is the low bidder, the price is “a great deal higher” than the county was expecting, Young said.

In other business:

• Council renewed Young’s contract for four more years. His previous contract ended June 20.

He’ll make $162,255 a year, plus the cost-of-living adjustment other county employees receive.

• Council unanimously agreed to a request to close the train crossing on Ruf Road in Orangeburg.

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Councilman Harry Wimberly noted that Norfolk-Southern wants the county’s permission to close crossings for free but wants the county to pay for new crossings.

Young said the closure is being made in conjunction with another development planned for the area.

• Council unanimously gave third and final reading to an ordinance extending joint industrial park incentives to Huntley Solar LLC, Palmetto Plains Solar Project LLC and other companies. The project was previously announced.

• Council held off on a request to transfer Eagle Solar Group LLC’s fee-in-lieu of taxes agreement to Aurora Solar LLC.

Eagle Solar Group announced plans last year to build a new, $87.9 million solar farm in Orangeburg County. It was given the fee-in-lieu taxes incentive for the project.

Since then, the county has adopted new rules governing solar farm incentives.

Wimberly said allowing the transfer is “like signing a blank check.”

County Attorney D’Anne Haydel said the new owners will be obligated to meet the terms of the original contract.

Councilman Willie B. Owens said he didn’t have a problem with the transfer, while Councilman Heyward Livingston said, “I don’t like it, but I’ll go along with it.”

Council decided to hold off on making a decision until the next meeting.

• Betty Coakley asked whether land near her home can be used for a large hog farm. Young said the land is not zoned to allow a commercial hog farm.

• Council appointed Paige J. Waymer to the county Planning Commission. She’ll represent District 5.

• Council entered executive session to discuss a contractual matter involving the Regional Medical Center, which is owned by Orangeburg and Calhoun counties, and economic development matters involving Project Furman, Project Poplar and Project Summers.

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