Florence County hopes $4M to pave industrial park road will lure new businesses

Florence County plans to spend $4 million to pave, widen and extend Koppers- Estate Road. (Image Source: News13's Kiahnna Patterson)

FLORENCE, SC (WBTW) – Florence County plans to spend $4 million to pave, widen and extend Koppers- Estate Road from Old Marion Highway to just before the railroad line near East Palmetto Street.

County leaders say the money needed to pave the road through the White Hawk Industrial Park will come from the second penny sales tax.

“Every time I go down the dirt road, I say to myself, ‘I wish they would pave this,’” said Robin Taylor, owner of Taylor Enterprise.

Taylor’s business is near the dirt road through the industrial park. He says he’s been waiting on the road to be paved for almost 35 years.

“A lot of my customers come from that way near Wilson High in Quinby. If it rains, you have to have a 4- wheel drive basically to come this way,” admits Taylor. “A 2- wheel drive just won’t work. I’ve actually had to go and pull customers out of ditches to get them here. It’s going to be really, really great for me and my business to get it paved.”

Florence County Council Chairman Kent Caudle says council budgeted $4 million to pave the road to help support businesses already in the industrial park and help lure others to come to the area.

“It’s got all the amenities to meet the needs of either a lot of small industries or several mega industries,” explains Caudle. “It’s got water, sewer, and power access. This Kopper- Estate Road project makes it more accessible for industry to locate here. We don’t want to give anyone a reason to not do business in Florence County.”

The project is one of 481 to be complete using the capital project sales tax two referendum. Caudle explains Kopper- Estate Road project will not take precedent or take money away from other projects because money for each project is already assigned.

“By law, we have to do it because we are obligated to do it. We can’t re-divert money on any capital project to something else,” explains Caudle.

Caudle says taxpayers who voted for roads like Kopper- Estate to be paved will have the biggest payoff.

“Just think if we had a major industry come here, what it could do for employment,” predicts Caudle. “It could raise the level of employment by employing more people and improve the quality of life for people who live here.”

Caudle says council plans to perform an engineering study on a connector road between Kopper- Estate Road and East Palmetto Street.