COG seeking public comment on region's 5-year strategic plan

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Santee-Lynches Regional Council of Governments is seeking public comment on the region's new five-year Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy. Santee-Lynches Regional COG serves as a designated economic development planning district for the four-county region of Sumter, Clarendon, Lee and Kershaw counties.

The CEDS is a national program sponsored by the U.S. Economic Development Administration and is designed to bring together local governments and business/industry to create and implement an "economic road map" to strengthen the region's economy.

The CEDS is an ongoing economic development planning process with broad-based public and private sector participation and sets forth goals and objectives to meet the economic development needs of the four-county region. Santee-Lynches' CEDS outlines an approach to regional growth and prosperity that builds on the region's strengths, emphasizes key industry clusters and identifies key economic development projects.

Lee County Council Chairman and COG Board Chairman Travis Windham describes the CEDS as an important planning instrument.

"The Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy is a valuable planning tool and will guide our efforts to improve our region's economy during the next five years," Windham said. "We encourage residents to provide input and feedback to ensure that our region continues to prosper."

The public comment period continues through Sept. 15. The draft CEDS document may be viewed online at www.santeelynchescog.org/economic-development; in person from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday at the Santee-Lynches' office, 2525 Corporate Way, Sumter, or at the Sumter SC Works Center, 31 E. Calhoun St.

Comments may be submitted online at www.santeelynchescog.org/economic-development, by email to MHeishman@slcog.org, by phone at (803) 774-1311, or by completing a public comment form in person at the Santee-Lynches' office or the local SC Works Center.

In 1971, Santee-Lynches Regional COG was designated as an economic development district by the Economic Development Administration of the U.S. Department of Commerce.

During the five-year CEDS period, EDA will consider making grant funding available to projects that will fulfill the goals and objectives of the region's CEDS.

Examples of EDA-funded projects in the four-county region include Central Carolina Technical College's Advanced Manufacturing Technology Training Center, 853 Broad St., and also the college's Health Sciences Center, 133 S. Main St., in downtown Sumter.