Florence Crews begin updating businesses along North Dargan

FLORENCE,SOUTH CAROLINA (WMBF) - You're going to see backhoes, ladders and cones along North Dargan Street in Florence as crews are updating water pipes and building facades to get rid of blighted properties.

"I thank God for the resurrection the downtown project that's going on," said Ronnie Arts. Artsis is a Florence native that left the area, and has returned to see all of the developments in the city's downtown.

"There are different resources coming downtown. It's going to help everybody, it's not just going to help one race, but help us all," said Arts.

Beginning this month the 100 block of North Dargan Street will see some of the same updates that have been made to West Evans.

"It's a combination of putting in new waterlines, because  the water lines that are in there are so old that with the renovation of these buildings there is not enough capacity there," explained Ray Reich, Downtown Development Manager.

There will be enough capacity to serve the sprinkler systems added to each renovated building, to keep a fire from spreading should one start. New water meters will be added along with those pipes. And there will also be changes to the lights lining the street.

"We decided that we would do two other things: number one with progress energy, we are putting in new street lights which are brighter, and much more energy efficient," said Reich.

Within a couple of weeks business owners who need to make changes will be getting a review of their building from the city. The review will tell them what needs to be updated. The city will provide financial help to those businesses owners so that they can make those updates.

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