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Johnsonville moves forward with new municipal complex plans

August 11, 2018

JOHNSONVILLE, S.C. – The city of Johnsonville is moving forward with design plans for a new municipal complex.

Johnsonville City Administrator Jim Smith said the city is in negotiations with a firm to develop a contract for design services for the building, which is to be constructed on the site that formerly housed an IGA grocery store on Broadway Street.

“We’re moving forward, but nothing’s finalized yet until we can come to an agreement on a contract for design services,” Smith said.

By the end of the year or the beginning of next year, Smith said, he hopes the city will have renderings of a new building. The functional building will probably be about 7,000 to 8,000 square feet and include mayor and council chambers, offices, a kitchen facility and conference rooms, according to Smith.

“But the one thing we are going to take a good look at is building an emergency operation center in the building,” Smith said.

He said there is no designated facility in Johnsonville now that would serve as an emergency operation center in the event of a major emergency.

“So if we had a category 4 hurricane come through, come up the cost and come in here and half the city got wiped out, we have no central area to work out of to conduct city operations, restoration operations,” Smith said.

It is not certain that the municipal complex will include an emergency operations center, but it is one feature the city is looking to design into the building. The process the city must undergo includes programming, design and engineering phases.

“It’s going to take several months to be able to come up with something,” Smith said. “We will be unveiling that in the next few months.”

The city of Johnsonville will also start a contract in two weeks to provide water to the Whispering Pines subdivision off Vox Highway, according to Smith. The subdivision is outside the Johnsonville city limits in Florence County.

“We’re expanding the water system,” Smith said. “Apparently, this has been promised to them (residents of Whispering Pines) for several years, and we’ve never been able to pull the trigger on this.”

Framing for the new Yorkshire at the Providence low-income housing community is also set to begin in Johnsonville at the end of August. Representatives of Trustmark Construction and Guardian Asset Management said in a presentation in February that the community will consist of four two-story buildings with a total of 37 units. There will be 13 two-bedroom units and 24 three-bedroom units. Six of the units will be designated for Section 8 tenants, according to the presentation given at a council meeting.

Smith said it is projected that the apartments will open sometime in January.

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