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A look at Georgetown County

The building of the Boeing plant in North Charleston offers an opportunity for jobs and economic development to Georgetown County in the coming year.

Local businesses and city and county officials plan to recruit suppliers and jobs to the area to support Boeing's plant, which will build the 787 Dreamliner and bring about 3,800 jobs.

In the meantime, the county is bracing for 2010 to be a repeat of a rocky 2009.

"At the very best, we can hope to maintain what we have," county administrator Sel Hemingway said.

To balance this year's budget, the county cut pay by 3 percent and eliminated jobs.

Despite the hard times, the county plans to move forward on its Visions II capital improvement plan, which includes completing a 5,000-square-foot addition to the Andrews library in July.

The city of Georgetown is still struggling after the indefinite closure of the ArcelorMittal steel mill in mid-2009 that left a couple of hundred people without jobs and crippled spending, which left stores and businesses craving an economic boost.

Still, the city was able to avoid layoffs and furloughs through a hiring freeze, city administrator Chris Eldridge said.

The 2010-2011 budget is expected to again be challenging. On a brighter note, the U.S. 17 drainage project should get off the ground by late spring

"2010 and most of 2011 will see a flurry of construction on this massive project that will alleviate the flooding problems that have plagued the area around City Hall, Five Points and the West End," Eldridge said.

- Aliana Ramos

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