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DORA receives money for downtown market; contributions cover half of $800,000 cost

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DORA receives money for downtown market; contributions cover half of $800,000 cost

The Downtown Orangeburg Revitalization Association has received half of the money it needs to build an open-air market/pavilion in downtown Orangeburg.

The donations were announced last week by the City of Orangeburg and Sen. John Matthews, D-Bowman.

Matthews said a similar project in Colleton County sparked his interest, and he “always thought that a similar project in this city would be good to do.”

“I really wanted to try to do it independently. But I think DORA chipping in, now I can do something else. I think it’ll be a great addition to the city and to the community,” Matthews said during a special city council meeting.

The market is estimated to cost $800,000.

Matthews presented a check worth $250,000. Also, Orangeburg City Council passed a resolution granting DORA $150,000.

City Administrator John Yow said, “This money that we are specifically granting in this resolution is a one-time grant, it’s not a recurring matter. It will be used towards the purpose of construction.”

Yow noted that the funding will come from the city’s hospitality and accommodations tax fund and that it won’t be in the form of a check.

“When we give a grant or money to go toward a project, we don’t write a check to that organization. As an accounting measure, what we do is once they bid the project, once they award the contract, and once their construction starts, they would submit invoices to us once a contractor has billed them, and then we would review the work that’s been in place,” Yow stated.

“It will be located immediately adjacent to the city parking lot that we built a few years ago, which is next to First Baptist church,” Yow stated.

Several council members had praise for DORA and for Matthews.

Councilman Charles Jernigan said, “DORA has done a fantastic job.”

“They’ve really improved our downtown. They work diligently on projects. We’ve had more activity downtown than I’ve seen in a long time,” Jernigan said.

“I think that this new building that we’re going to put downtown is going to be an attraction, it’s going to be an asset to the city. I’m looking forward to a lot of traffic down there because of that new building,” Jernigan said.

Mayor Michael Butler said, “We would like to thank our senator, John Matthews, for really wanting to see this project come into fruition.

“We’re looking to have some good results here in Orangeburg.”