FLORENCE COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) – The Florence County Council unanimously voted to extend its emergency ordinance that recommends residents wear face masks in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19.
The ordinance was extended for another 60 days during Thursday’s meeting and comes a month after the Florence City Council voted to extend its own face mask ordinance for an additional 60 days.
City residents are required to wear a face mask when they enter public buildings like restaurants, retail businesses or other structures that are open to the public.
For county residents, the emergency ordinance only recommends wearing face coverings.
While there wasn’t a discussion prior to the vote, Council Chairman Willard Dorriety opened by saying the residents of Florence County shouldn’t let their guard down.
“Standing united the citizens of Florence County are a powerful force and by standing together we can and will defeat COVID-19," he said.
While masks remain in Florence County, some new projects on the way were also discussed Thursday.
The council approved the second reading on a tax agreement for a business known as “Project Lightning Bolt” which will invest $75 million into Florence County and will create 100 new jobs.
This wouldn’t be the only tax agreement on this morning’s agenda. Ruiz Foods has already invested over $160 million into Florence County.
Council unanimously voted on a tax agreement as Ruiz is planning a $40 million expansion to their facility in the county.
“They really like Florence County, they want to remain in Florence County and I think it shows we are progressive in trying to lure manufacturers here and other investors and it’s a wonderful thing for our county that makes our county grow and only makes it better," said Dorriety.
Following the meeting, council members put the finishing touches on another county project.
Florence County Council, state representatives, and others were at the ribbon cutting of the new West Florence Fire Department Station 1.
The state of the art facility was paid for by the penny sales tax, and Dorriety believes Florence County has the best fire facilities in the state.
“All of them are excellent facilities and they’ve enhanced fire protection in this county and the unconsolidated fire district of Florence County is the best in South Carolina, I’d love for anybody to tell me any different," said Dorriety.