|A new, $14 million Jehovah's Witness Assembly Hall is |
planned near the intersection of Interstate 26 and S.C.
Highway 33.The Orangeburg County Transportation
Committee is setting aside C funds for road improvements
needed for the expected traffic.
The committee voted last week to provide about $486,009 to widen the turning radius of S.C. Highway 33 in an effort to accommodate the increased traffic expected from construction of a 65,000-square-foot, 3,000-seat Jehovah's Witness Assembly Hall. The money will be used for paving and relocating utilities.
"The surface of the road was not adequate to handle the inspection of the DOT," Transportation Committee Chairman Dr. Jessie Kinard said.
The congregation will be responsible for funding $403,774, Kinard said.
The total project cost is $1,192,606, Kinard said. In February, the Transportation Committee contributed $294,823 with the congregation putting up $98,274.
The Transportation Committee will fund the project through C funds, which are the county's share of the gasoline tax. The county gets about $250,000 in C funds quarterly. C funds can be used on publicly-maintained roads or on a road that connects to an existing publicly-maintained road.
Jehovah's Witnesses are building a $14 million Assembly Hall on land near the intersection of S.C. Highway 33 and Interstate 26. The 58-acre parcel is near Gussy Drive and Assembly Hall Way, which serves as a frontage road to I-26.
Jehovah's Witness officials say the project will have a substantial economic impact on the county over the next five years. They estimate the center could generate $264 million in revenues over a five-year period, with the added benefit of more than $18.4 million in new sales tax revenues for the local area.
In other matters, commissioners requested the James E. Clyburn Transportation Center conduct research examining alternative paving methods for the county.
"We can utilize and do some teamwork here," Kinard said.
In other business, commissioners approved paving Indian Road in Bowman.