Florence leaders tout city's development in Columbia

COLUMBIA, SOUTH CAROLINA (WMBF) - Florence County's Leaders headed to Columbia to talk with state legislatures about ways to grow the county.

"County Council has been fantastic at recognizing the improvements in downtown Florence," said Mayor Stephen Wukela, City of Florence. "Those improvements help us recruit industry and they're good for the whole county."

Florence Mayor Stephen Wukela said thanks to efforts from the county, state and city, Downtown Florence has seen more than $130 million in investments over the past five years.

It's changes like the revitalization taking place in Florence that leaders want to see more of throughout the county.

There are some hurdles county leaders say they must overcome to see further growth.

"We still got significant issues in public safety and fire that we have to address, and if we don't address those, it's more difficult to recruit industry," said James Schofield, Florence County Council Chairman.

Schofield said even with those issues facing the county, the people should be proud of the progress made. During the past 10 years, Florence has continued to bring new industry and jobs to the county.

It's showing off job and economic growth to state leaders, helping  to showcase the need for state leaders to pump more money and attention into Florence County.

"Probably in April there will an announcement of a new industry and that's what we need to do it, building new houses, creating new jobs, more tax base, so that we don't have to raise the tax base," said Schofield.

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