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Orangeburg County officials say they’re pleased with the results of a new anti-litter ordinance.

“We’ve seen a marked increase in what the county would like to see as a result from these prosecutions in the last several months,” County Planning Director Richard Hall said Monday.

Council approved an ordinance in December with stronger penalties for litters. The ordinance raises the maximum penalty for littering from $500 up to $1,000 and clearly defines when those penalties have to be given.

Councilmember Janie Cooper-Smith reported that during the month of February:

• 22,380 pounds of litter were picked up

• 16 citations were written and taken to court

• 78 cases were opened

• 48 cases were closed

“As you can see, our litter control department is doing a great job but it needs the community to take pride in the community to clean it up,” Cooper-Smith said.

There will be a countywide cleanup the week of April 1-7.

Orangeburg County Litter Control will provide bags and will pick up the garbage after the bags have been filled.

In other business during Monday’s Orangeburg County Council meeting:

• Orangeburg County Council has given its final OK to the purchase of a new ladder truck for almost $1 million.

“The fire district as well as the County Fire Service has seen it fit to purchase a new ladder truck,” County Administrator Harold Young said.

“It is something that will be beneficial to the citizens of Orangeburg County due to the growth in hotels and industrial parks that we have,” he said.

Council approved third and final reading of the ordinance authorizing the purchase on Monday.

The truck will be used by the West Middle Fire Department.

The 2017 Pierce Enforcer program unit aerial device will be purchased for $951,222 through a lease-purchase arrangement.

The county will enter into a tax-exempt, lease-purchase municipal or government loan with PNC Equipment Finance for $213,010.41 a year over a five-year period at a 3.89 percent interest rate.

Council has approved spending up to $1.6 million on the truck in case financing changes.

The West Middle Fire Department's 1976 ladder truck has been out of service for about a year. The county’s hoping to find a buyer.

• Council passed second reading of an ordinance setting tax agreements with a business going by the name Project Global.

No further information was provided since the company is remaining anonymous until third reading of the ordinance.

County Attorney D’Anne Haydel said, “Project Global is an extension of a manufacturing facility that’s already here.”

• Council approved a resolution authorizing the revision of the County Employee Handbook regarding record retention. Haydel said this change would deem text messages as insufficient evidence in terms of records.

• Council approved $57,500 in recommendations from the Tax and Tourism Committee. Young said not everyone who requested funds received what they asked for, but everyone who was approved got almost all they requested. Funds were approved for Raylrode Daze, the Town of Elloree, the Town of Norway, the Town of Rowesville, Orangeburg County Fair, New Perspectives Media, Sixth District of Omega Psi Phi, Orangeburg County Chamber of Commerce and the Tri-County Chamber of Commerce.

• First reading and a resolution were approved to rezone property located at 118 Bellwood Court from Rural Community to Commercial General. The request came from Greater Life Tabernacle Church for the purpose of allowing it to put a digital sign on the property.

• Council approved first reading of two ordinances to enlarge the area of the joint county industrial park between Dorchester and Orangeburg counties for Zeus Industrial Products, Inc. and Allied Air Enterprises, Inc.

• Council passed first reading of an ordinance postponing the 2018 reassessment of Orangeburg County properties. Young said the reassessment is done every five years and this would postpone it by one year to allow for correct results. There is no fine or penalty to taxpayers or the county.

• Cooper-Smith read a resolution recognizing March as Women’s History Month.

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

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Government Reporter

John Mack is a 2016 graduate of Claflin University. He is an Orangeburg native.

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