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The City of Clinton’s “go it alone” attitude toward economic development took another step forward Monday night as money was released to the Clinton Economic Development Corporation.

The City and CEDC are partnering with the economic development arm of Santee Cooper, the state-owned electric utility, on a $3.2 million loan package that will build a 60,000 sq ft “spec” building at the I-26 Commerce Center (interstate 26 and highway 72, east of Clinton). The transferred money - $312,199.03 – will allow CEDC to make the first loan repayment. The city’s economic development money comes from the profits of CNNGA (Clinton-Newberry Natural Gas Authority), split between the Cities of Clinton and Newberry.

The city’s second spec building will be constructed on an already existing 100,000 sq ft pad. The city also will receive grant money for another development project – lengthening Commerce Way, the main road in the Commerce Center, where the city’s first spec building is occupied by a research lab of GE Renewable Energy.

The motion to make the money available to CEDC passed unanimously. The city also is enhancing the look of this I-26 interchange with new Clinton signs, but that project hit a snag. City council agreed with a recommendation by City Manager Bill Ed Cannon to re-bid the signs. Cannon said an initial cost of more than $100,000 was rejected, and the signs were modified. Cannon said after the city got “a firm price” of about half that amount, the contractor upped the price to $68,194.

Cannon said in all his years as an engineer, he had never seen a business practice like this. The price went up because the U.S. has imposed a 10% tariff on steel and aluminum. Cannon said he does not want to spend $68,194 on 2 signs, and a unanimous Clinton City Council agreed. The price was rejected.

Cannon gave the council a report on work to tear down and cover in dirt the site of the former Martha Dendy Swimming Pool, and city-authorized work tearing down 15 dilapidated structures in Clinton. “We have momentum,” Cannon said. “Let’s keep it.”

The Clinton City Council issued 3 proclamations:

- Tuesday, Aug. 7, will National Night Out in the City of Clinton;

- July 8 as Hebron Baptist Church Day; and

- Rita Stanley Appreciation for 10 years of service as administrator of Bailey Manor Christian Retirement Community.

The council spent an hour in a closed, executive session discussing 3 real estate matters, taking no action. The July 9 Clinton City Council meeting took the place of the normal first Monday of the month city council meeting.