Florence County considers helping develop communities through commission

LAKE CITY, SC (WBTW) – Florence County is considering a new initiative to bring more jobs and opportunities to smaller communities.

County Council may create a “Developing Communities Commission.”

The goal would be to recruit more business to places like Lake City and Johnsonville.

“The Florence County Economic Development Partnership has done a wonderful job at recruiting and retaining our major industries here in Florence County.  However, we do realize that these small towns if they got that one big fish and something ever happens it could potentially be disastrous to that small town,” said Florence County Councilman Jason Springs.

Springs envisions the commission to work on a much smaller scale than Florence Economic Development.

“If we can find a small retail shop to come in with 15 to 20 jobs and we can get 4 or 5 of those in each one of these towns that would be great,” he mentioned.

The Developing Communities Commission would have members from 9 Florence County municipalities.

That includes one from Florence, one from Timmonsville, one from Johnsonville, Pamplico, Scranton, Coward and two from Lake City.

“Any opportunity for growth especially in small town communities is not only good for the owner but also good for the community as whole,” said Melissa Frye, Co-Owner of Seven Monogram Boutique in Lake City.

“This commission is not duplicating the roles of the Florence Economic Development Partnership. In fact, what it should be doing is complimenting it.  What’s best for Lake City and what’s best for Quinby and Johnsonville is best for the whole county,” Springs explained.

The ordinance must pass two more readings to create the commission.

Florence County Council will discuss the plan Thursday evening in Lake City.

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