by Matthew Christian
Construction is set to begin soon on the parking deck to be located behind the Florence County Complex.
The area between the Florence County Complex and the county magistrate’s office has been fenced off, and equipment has been moved in to begin construction on the parking deck.
Normally, the county would have a groundbreaking to mark start of construction on the parking deck. However, due to the threat of spreading COVID-19 and limits on the number of people that can gather in one location, no groundbreaking will be held.
The Florence County Council voted unanimously in January to authorize County Administrator K.G. “Rusty” Smith Jr. to proceed with the parking garage and surface renovations in the lot behind the County Complex.
The project is estimated to cost $13.991 million. The cost is broken into two pieces: $12.983 million to construct the parking garage and $1.008 million for construction administration, special inspections, insurance and contingencies.
The cost will be funded from a combination of $11.1 million from a 2017 general obligation bond issuance to construct the garage and $3.775 million from savings in section 12 of the projects in the Capital Project Sales Tax II.
The council also approved the use of the $3.775 million in savings.
The contract to construct the parking garage was awarded to Thompson Turner Construction of Sumter in March 2019. Since then, the company has been working with Transystems, an engineering firm, to finalize the design of the project and soliciting bids from subcontractors.
Thompson Turner presented the county with a maximum guaranteed price of $12.983 million.
Once complete, the parking deck will be one of three in the downtown area.
The city of Florence has approved a bill approving a conditional grant and development agreement with a developer partly to construct a parking deck across from the City Center on West Evans Street.
There is already a city-owned parking deck at the Emerson apartments.
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