Pee Dee Electric Cooperative keeps money local - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Pee Dee Electric Cooperative keeps money local

FLORENCE COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - Florence County is getting some extra cash to put toward infrastructure improvements that will draw in more big-name industries.

Pee Dee Electric Cooperative is giving Florence County $120,000.

The Rural Development Act of 1996 gives the electric cooperative a dollar for dollar tax credit for its state utility license fee taxes when the money is given to counties. The co-op chooses to do that so the money stays local, said Jeff Singletary, of Pee Dee Electric Cooperative.

"Anything that we can do that can help whether it's safety or to attract businesses to the area is what we're after doing," Singletary said.

The money is to be used for approved infrastructure projects that benefit economic development.

Although the funds can be put toward qualified projects anywhere in Florence County, the county has decided to focus on improving infrastructure around Pee Dee Touchstone Energy Commerce City.

"This is a part of bringing in thousands of jobs that Florence County Council and the Economic Development Authority have brought into this region and it all works together to make sure that we put a good package in front of prospective industries," Florence County Administrator K.G. "Rusty" Smith said.

Projects have included adding signage and striping along the roads to improve safety, creating a frontage road and water and sewer improvements, among other projects, Smith said.

"We've also done wetland mitigation and other things that are conducive to enhancing what we feel is one of the finest industrial parks in South Carolina," he said.

Pee Dee Electric Cooperative can get credit for up $400,000 a year of the utility license fee taxes.

Since the program began back in 1996, the co-op has given $4.5 million to the counties in the Pee Dee.

In addition to Florence County's $120,000, Marion County gets $200,000 this year.

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