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Wedding & Event Venue Near Barnwell, SC.

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Your Magic Moment Awaits

Your wedding day. Without a doubt, it's one of the most significant events you will ever experience - when you and the love of your life officially seal the deal and get married. On this day, your friends and family will gather to celebrate the next step in your life. Photographers will be running around snapping photos, catering plates delicious food for guests to enjoy, and the DJ sets the mood for a night of fun and libation. You've worked extra hard to make everything look perfect and run smoothly. You have examined every moving part down to the tiniest detail. At the center of all your effort is your wedding venue in Barnwell, SC.

Your event space can mean the difference between an unforgettable event and an average occasion. Capturing your uniqueness as a couple is paramount to a memorable wedding. But, without the right venue location and staff, your unforgettable event can turn into a painfully average occasion. Fortunately, at Abney Hall, you won't ever have to worry about dingy reception spaces and crummy chow halls.

Constructed in Barnwell, SC, in 1962, Abney Hall is 15,000 square feet and sits on 500 acres of land, making it a large wedding venue unlike any other. Abney Hall was originally the home of Mrs. Josephine Abney, a Barnwell native who was a lifelong philanthropist. Mrs. Abney devoted much of her time and effort towards supporting charities, educational institutions, hospitals, and other noble efforts. Today, Abney Hall stands tall as a symbol of love, both in our community and for the couples who choose to get married here.

Abney Hall is an exclusive event experience unlike any other, surrounded by verdant forests and sparkling ponds. Our venue is a natural fit for several occasions, including:

Special Event Space Barnwell, SC

Weddings

 Event Venue Barnwell, SC

Bridal Showers

 Event Space Barnwell, SC

Bridal Portraits

 Rehearsal Dinner Venue Barnwell, SC

Rehearsal Dinners

 Bridal Shower Venue Barnwell, SC

Corporate Events

 Business Event Space Barnwell, SC

Much More!

 Wedding Space Barnwell, SC

The Top Wedding Venue in Barnwell, SC

The beginning of your life starts at Abney Hall. With our team by your side, we can create the fairy tale wedding you have dreamed about since childhood. Whether you have 100 guests or 1,000, our waterfront ceremony locations and French-inspired courtyard are perfect for your big day. Celebrate in luxurious style surrounded by shady magnolia trees, a private forest, large ponds, and the beauty of Mother Nature. While our venue location and aesthetic have been praised far and wide, so too have the practical aspects of Abney Hall. Looking for a relaxing, comfortable spot for your bridal party to get ready in? We offer an entire floor in the Abney Hall residence to get the bridal party ready. Want to make your groomsman feel extra-special too? We've got a private, plush house just feet from a sparkling pond that is a proper hangout spot for the guys in your group.

To make life easier on you, we also offer Abney Hall as your go-to spot for rehearsal dinners. Why book an expensive restaurant or travel to another location when unmatched beauty and convenience are right at your fingertips? Abney Hall is just the place for that very important dinner the night before your big day. We are also happy to host your bridal shower at Abney Hall. Our venue makes for one of Barnwell's most unique bridal shower settings, where your family and friends can gather to give gifts and be merry before you walk down the aisle.

With such a large, magnificent house and a vast property, Abney Hall also makes for an unforgettable location for your bridal portraits and other wedding-related photography needs. Don't take our word for it - book a tour and see for yourself why so many new brides and grooms choose Abney Hall as their wedding venue in Barnwell.

 Wedding Venue Barnwell, SC

What Sets Abney Hall Apart from Other Wedding Venues in Barnwell?

You've already found the person you want to spend the rest of your life beside. The next step? Finding the perfect wedding venue for your ceremony, reception, and celebration of your lifelong commitment to one another. Remember, the backdrop for photos, dancing, eating, and all other activities will be at your wedding venue. That's why we work so hard to set Abney Hall apart from our competitors - so you and your guests can focus on love and living your new life while we work with your vendors and photographers to make your magic night a reality.

Here are just a few reasons why guests choose Abney Hall as their wedding venue in Barnwell, SC, along with some helpful tips from our experienced wedding venue staff:

Venue Size

Choosing the appropriate-sied venue for your desired guest count is a critical decision. A venue's capacity affects the number of people you need to consider having at your ceremony and reception. As you're first starting out, we recommend having a guest count in mind as you're searching for the right venue. Try to stick with that number. You may fall in love with a particular venue, but if its max capacity can't accommodate your guest count, it may be time to cross them off your list.

 Corporate Conference Hall Barnwell, SC
Abney Hall Pro Tip

Abney Hall Pro Tip:

Keep in mind that this is your big day. You shouldn't feel obligated to invite the college roommate you shared a dorm with for one semester. At the end of the day, your wedding venue should be one that can accommodate those closest to you. Abney Hall is equipped for both small and large weddings, consisting of 500 acres of forest, ponds, and lush natural beauty. Whether you want an intimate wedding with only your best friends or a grand ceremony with hundreds of people, we have the right amount of room to make you comfortable.

Location and Nearby Lodging

On your big day, you're likely to have friends and family traveling in from other parts of the state or country. These folks will need a place to stay during and even after your wedding. Accessibility and ease are important factors when it comes to choosing your wedding venue for both you and your guests.

Located in Barnwell, SC, Abney Hall is situated in a memorable, natural setting, giving your wedding a private vibe in the midst of Mother Nature. While we pride ourselves on having a secluded wedding event space, our venue is within an easy driving distance of hotels and vacation rentals.

Abney Hall Pro Tip

Abney Hall Pro Tip:

When you contact us for a tour, make sure to speak with our experienced venue manager about nearby hotels and shuttle service options. We understand that your guest's comfort and convenience are important, and we're happy to work with you to figure out the best way to get your guests to Abney Hall.

Venue Staff

At Abney Hall, our staff has earned its reputation as one of the industry's most friendly, accessible teams. We will provide you with a purpose-minded point of contact that can help answer questions relating to timelines, preferred vendors, and every aspect of your wedding. When you tour our wedding venue in Barnwell, SC, for the first time, we want you to feel like you have all the information you need to make an informed purchasing decision.

We would be happy to go over:
  • Venue Pricing
  • Ceremony Specifics
  • Reception Specifics
  • Catering Possibilities
  • Decorating Possibilities
  • Entertainment Options
  • Photography and Photo Opportunities
  • Venue Amenities
  • Bridal Party Needs
  • Groomsman Needs

At Abney Hall, our goal is to be your first resource when it comes to setting up and coordinating the details of your wedding day.

Decor

When it comes to your wedding's decor, you probably already have a few ideas in mind. We love it when our brides and grooms have a vision in mind because one of our greatest joys is turning that vision into a reality. At Abney Hall, our team is available to help you and your decorator fit, accent, and accommodate your fairy-tale wedding - whatever that may be.

Are you looking to dress up your wedding with decorations galore? Just want to add a few accents that tie into your preferred color palette? Abney Hall is versatile and ready to help however we are able.

 Reception Hall Barnwell, SC
Abney-Hall-Pro-Tip

Abney Hall Pro Tip:

If you're thinking about bringing in your own greenery, lighting, floral pieces, and more, we recommend discussing your vision with us on your initial tour of our event space. That way, we can get a head start on making your big day exactly how you envision it.

Photo Opportunities

10 years from now, when you and your spouse are celebrating your anniversary, you will pull out photographs from your wedding and will reminisce about the unforgettable time you spent at Abney Hall. Your wedding photos will be with you forever, and as such, we work closely with you and your photographer to suggest extra-special photo op spots that you can only find on Abney Hall grounds.

From the grand staircase and French-inspired courtyard to our manicured gardens and lovely pond, there is no shortage of photo-op locations for your photographer to choose from. As one of the most popular wedding venues in Barnwell, SC, we have worked with dozens of photographers over the years.

Our experience has allowed us to cultivate a list of preferred photographers - all of whom have the talent to take your pictures to the next level in a setting they're familiar with. We encourage you to check out our gallery to get a sense of the scope of our wedding venue and gain inspiration from other happy couples.

Abney-Hall-Pro-Tip

Abney Hall Pro Tip

The gallery on our website is extensive but be sure to check out our Facebook and Instagram pages as well. We keep our social pages updated with recent wedding photographs, giving you an incredible resource that you can use for your own photography purposes.

Special Event Space Barnwell, SC

The Premier Corporate Event Venue in Barnwell, SC

Abney Hall is known across the United States for our stunning weddings, but we also play host to some of the largest corporate events in South Carolina. Why choose a bland, lifeless meeting space when you can enjoy the beauty of Mother Nature coupled with a professional atmosphere? If you have an important team-building event or corporate conference that you have to coordinate, look no further than Abney Hall.

The epitome of class and style, our corporate event space is large, lavish, and chock-full of onsite amenities for you and your co-workers to enjoy. If your team needs a morale boost, don't bring them to the local Olive Garden for a cheap lunch. Treat them to a refreshing experience in our main dining room, where we can work with you to incorporate your catering options with the goals of your event.

When the hard work is done, and your team needs a breather, what better way to relax than with a quick dip in our pool? To burn off a little steam, head over to our brand-new tennis court - the perfect place to get some exercise in an ultra-private setting while you enjoy the sights and sounds of nature. Don't forget to bring your fishing poles for a couple of hours of fishing. There's even an opportunity to go hunting if you wish.

 Event Venue Barnwell, SC

Elegance at Its Finest - Only
a Phone Call Away

If you're ready to learn more about Abney Hall as your wedding venue, don't hesitate to reach out. We would love to hear more about your plans, your vision, and your needs. We know that planning a wedding isn't easy. It takes time, attention to detail, and a whole lot of patience. Our goal is to help provide you with all the info you need to learn more about our venue. Once you decide on a date, we'll work closely with you and your vendors to craft a wedding experience that you will treasure for the rest of your life.

Our available dates for your big day are going quick, especially during peak seasons like spring and fall. We look forward to hearing from you soon!

Contact us today for a FREE initial consultation
 Event Space Barnwell, SC

Latest News in Barnwell, SC

Savannah River Site settlement: Millions coming to SC, plutonium stays

Under the settlement, the federal government now has until 2037 to remove 34 tons of plutonium, a chemical used for nuclear weapon fuel, that is sitting on the site.BARNWELL COUNTY, S.C. — At the State House Tuesday, lawmakers discussed how to spend $525 million from the Savannah River Site settlement. The plant received the funds from the federal government, but the plutonium they were hoping to get rid of is staying for now.Now, lawmakers are pushing for the bulk of the funds to go to the counties surrounding the site: ...

Under the settlement, the federal government now has until 2037 to remove 34 tons of plutonium, a chemical used for nuclear weapon fuel, that is sitting on the site.

BARNWELL COUNTY, S.C. — At the State House Tuesday, lawmakers discussed how to spend $525 million from the Savannah River Site settlement. The plant received the funds from the federal government, but the plutonium they were hoping to get rid of is staying for now.

Now, lawmakers are pushing for the bulk of the funds to go to the counties surrounding the site: Aiken, Barnwell and Allendale.

“When we get this settlement, we think it’s our turn to ask for reimbursement for some of the sacrifice we’ve given over time,” said Senator Brad Hutto, who represents Orangeburg and parts of Allendale and Barnwell Counties.

South Carolina received the $525 million from the federal government to settle the Savannah River Site issue.

Hutto explained that, "the federal government has failed to remove the stored plutonium from the Savannah River Site and it’s failed to fulfill the MOX project promise.”

As Senator Brad Hutto explained, 34 tons of plutonium, a chemical used for nuclear weapon fuel, is sitting on the site.

Senators Hutto & Young are speaking with a Senate subcommittee on how they’d like money from the Savannah River System Settlement to be spent. They’re asking that a large portion go to Aiken, Barnwell and Allendale Counties for the negative impact of the plutonium project. @wltx pic.twitter.com/5mZEO4nNe9

— Julia Kauffman (@JuliaKauffmanTV) September 28, 2021

The federal MOX project was meant to use the plutonium for nuclear weapons fuel, but was unsuccessful. Now, Hutto argues that the settlement funds deserve to go to the counties that are most impacted.

"There are people who decided not to locate their businesses in Barnwell and Aiken because there’s plutonium in Barnwell," Hutto asserted. "And that’s something that not only we have it now, but because of this settlement, we’re basically going to have it for this next generation.”

Under the settlement, the federal government now has until 2037 to remove the plutonium.

Hutto proposed that the bulk of funds from the settlement go to Barnwell, Aiken and Allendale Counties to help create new jobs. He wants Lexington and Orangeburg Counties paid, too, since many Savannah River Site employees live there.

Senator Young of Aiken said during the committee hearing that, "the settlement funds are intended to pay for the economic impacts from storing plutonium and not finishing the MOX project.”

Lawmakers can spend the funds however they want, but those that represent the affected counties hope they choose to help their communities.

The Senate committee will make recommendations on allocations, and the General Assembly will likely take it up in January.

In addition to this Savannah River Site money, lawmakers will soon decide how to spend over $2 billion from the American Rescue Plan.

City of Barnwell to vote on Sunday alcohol sales; residents, organization reacts

BARNWELL, S.C. (WJBF) — You could soon buy alcohol on Sundays in Barnwell South Carolina. A measure on next Tuesday’s ballot would allow Sunday sales if approved.“We like that small-town feel and we like for it to stay that way,” Executive Director of Axis I Center of Barnwell Pam Rush told NewsChannel 6’s Aiken Bureau Chief Shawn Cabbagestalk.It’s that small-town feel that Pam Rush thinks could slip away if a referendum is passed in November. She’s the Executive Director at Axis I Cent...

BARNWELL, S.C. (WJBF) — You could soon buy alcohol on Sundays in Barnwell South Carolina. A measure on next Tuesday’s ballot would allow Sunday sales if approved.

“We like that small-town feel and we like for it to stay that way,” Executive Director of Axis I Center of Barnwell Pam Rush told NewsChannel 6’s Aiken Bureau Chief Shawn Cabbagestalk.

It’s that small-town feel that Pam Rush thinks could slip away if a referendum is passed in November. She’s the Executive Director at Axis I Center. It’s Barnwell County’s only provider of substance abuse treatment and prevention services. Nearly 50 percent of her clients have issues with alcohol.

“About 40% of our clients tell us that alcohol is their number one primary problem. When they come in for services and at least 14 to 15% tell us it’s their secondary,” Rush added.

On the ballot, you can choose whether or not Sunday alcohol sales will be allowed in the City of Barnwell. Recently the city council passed a referendum to allow residents to vote to believe it could build economic development and increase economic sales in the city.

“Sunday alcohol sales have been allowed in towns like Allendale and Aiken, and we’ve done some research there as well,” Rush said. “We found that Allendale has seen no significant economic development from their Sunday sales. Now Aiken is different. They’re more of an urban-type city where we’re more rural. It may be okay for them, but we just don’t feel like it’s okay for Barnwell County,” she added.

Rush believes it could do more harm than good. “When you allow another day for sales of alcohol, such as Sunday, that problems occur such as impaired driving, increasing, use of alcohol and alcohol consumption, which can also lead to domestic violence, sexual assaults, and other health outcomes that we simply do not need in this community,” she added.

Newschannel 6 spoke with a number of residents about the referendum. They all had similar responses. “I don’t drink alcohol, but, you know, it is what it is and if that’s what people, you know, vote on so be it,” Paul Hinkley said. “I don’t see no problem in it. I’d rather see it after church or something like that. Maybe out that way. Not all day long telling stuff,” Ronnie Bragg added. “I don’t feel too bad about it. It can go either way, some people drink and some people don’t drink and they don’t like it. So it doesn’t really matter to me,” James Hallingqust

Tuesday polls will be open from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m.

Why did nuclear waste leak at SC dump? Supreme Court rebukes landfill operator, DHEC

In a decision cheered by opponents of a Barnwell County nuclear waste dump, the S.C. Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that the landfill’s operator hasn’t followed regulations that are intended to keep radioactive waste from leaking into groundwater beneath the site.Environmentalists said they expect the decision to force landfill operator Chem-Nuclear to adopt stricter disposal practices that would halt leaks from the dump.The court’s 28-page opinion orders the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control ...

In a decision cheered by opponents of a Barnwell County nuclear waste dump, the S.C. Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that the landfill’s operator hasn’t followed regulations that are intended to keep radioactive waste from leaking into groundwater beneath the site.

Environmentalists said they expect the decision to force landfill operator Chem-Nuclear to adopt stricter disposal practices that would halt leaks from the dump.

The court’s 28-page opinion orders the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control to look again at how the operators run the 235-acre disposal site. The decision said landfill operator Chem-Nuclear has violated state rules that were written to keep rainfall from getting into burial trenches and polluted water from seeping out of the pits.

The Barnwell County low-level nuclear waste dump, which opened in 1971, has leaked radioactive tritium into groundwater near the Savannah River. Many of its burial trenches have not been covered until they are filled up, exposing waste to rainfall. Vaults in the trenches that contain waste have holes in them, allowing contaminated water to leak out.

“In short, the court ruled that the license failed to comply with the regulatory provisions designed to minimize contact between waste and water,’’ according to a news release from the S.C. Environmental Law Project, which challenged the company’s disposal practices.

Barnwell County’s landfill, the source of major political disputes since it opened, is uphill from a neighborhood that for years depended on wells for drinking water. The site has polluted a small creek that drains toward the Savannah River. The state has said the wells and the river are safe, but tritium leaks remain a concern to many. Tritium can be hazardous, but it also could be a forerunner of more toxic but slow-moving radioactive waste one day, critics have said.

The Department of Health and Environmental Control, which regulates the landfill, said it is reviewing Wednesday’s ruling, but had little else to say.

“The department will proceed in a manner consistent with the court’s decision,’’ the agency said in an email.

A spokesman for Chem-Nuclear’s parent company, Energy Solutions, said Thursday the landfill’s license is not in jeopardy, but the company will work with DHEC in the wake of the court decision.

“The decision confirms that issues of compliance with the license and interpretations are deferred to DHEC.,’’ Energy Solutions spokesman Mark Walker said. “EnergySolutions works closely with DHEC and all of our activities are reviewed frequently, without issue. We will continue to work with DHEC and implement any additional actions, if any, prescribed by them.”

The Environmental Law Project, which represents the state Sierra Club, argued its case against the dump’s operating permit before the Supreme Court last April.

The battle against the Chem-Nuclear landfill dates back almost to the time it opened 48 years ago. Enticed by millions of dollars in revenues the landfill generated for the state, the S.C. Legislature allowed the landfill to operate for years, despite leaks into groundwater that many said justified closing the dump.

Barnwell County’s low-level waste dump is one of the few operating nationally. For years, it took radioactive material from across the country, but in 2008, the state limited disposal to South Carolina, New Jersey and Connecticut. The site takes an array of low-level nuclear waste, such as reactor parts and hospital waste.

While the material isn’t as potent as high-level waste, much of it still packs a toxic bite. Some pollution levels beneath the site rival groundwater contamination levels on the nearby Savannah River Site nuclear weapons complex.

“For too long, South Carolina has accepted low-level radioactive waste for .... burial in our soils using a seriously flawed design that allows rainwater to come into contact with that waste, be driven into the groundwater, and appear in our surface waters,’’ law project director Amy Armstrong said in the news release. “Thankfully the Supreme Court acknowledged those serious flaws and has sent the license back to DHEC to fix them.”

The Supreme Court’s decision upholds, in part, a ruling by the S.C. Court of Appeals against the landfill’s operators five years ago. The Sierra Club has been fighting a permit for the landfill for more than 15 years.

This story was originally published March 27, 2019 4:19 PM.

Swiss Company Continues to Invest in Rural South Carolina

Back to Vol 10, Issue 2SWISS KRONO Group, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of wood-based materials, continues to invest in rural Barnwell, S.C.The Swiss-based company is building a 250,000-square-foot expansion on its existing Barnwell manufacturing facility, with help from the New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) program.The expansion includes the construction of a new medium-density f...

Back to Vol 10, Issue 2

SWISS KRONO Group, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of wood-based materials, continues to invest in rural Barnwell, S.C.

The Swiss-based company is building a 250,000-square-foot expansion on its existing Barnwell manufacturing facility, with help from the New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) program.

The expansion includes the construction of a new medium-density fiberboard (MDF) manufacturing line, ancillary wood yard, energy plant and waste treatment facilities, as well as the installation of a fourth laminate flooring line. With this expansion, the plant will produce laminate flooring, MDF, high-density fiberboard (HDF), laminated panels for the furniture industry and treated papers for use in laminate applications. Currently, the facility only produces laminate flooring and treated paper.

“The purpose for the expansion was for backward integration, which will allow SWISS KRONO USA to produce the board currently purchased for manufacturing laminate flooring (reduction in costs) and to move into new markets,” said Robert Dichiara, vice president and chief financial officer of SWISS KRONO USA. “Our plan is to increase our market share of laminate flooring sold in the U.S. at the expense of imports. … Two-thirds of our new high density/medium density panel production will be used in our existing flooring operations and one-third will be sold into furniture manufacturing, automotive, cabinet and other applications.”

Deborah La Franchi, president of the National New Markets Fund, said the expansion is expected to create 105 new permanent jobs and 500 construction jobs. She added that the permanent jobs will have an average salary of $56,000 per year with health insurance and 401(k) matching funds.

“In 2015, [Barnwell County] had the eighth-lowest average weekly wages in South Carolina, the quality of the jobs being created was very important in our decision to invest,” said La Franchi. National New Markets Fund is one of four community development entities (CDEs) providing a NMTC allocation to this development.

Those permanent and construction jobs are needed in Barnwell, which has a poverty rate of 17.4 percent and an unemployment rate of 14.4 percent, according to the Tax Advantage Group, which was SWISS KRONO USA’s consultant on the expansion. Furthermore, Barnwell is located in a South Carolina Low-Country Promise Zone, a federal program that gives high poverty communities opportunities to increase economic activity and leverage private investment; a FEMA disaster area; and a State Enterprise Zone, according to the Tax Advantage Group.

“Barnwell is an area of rural South Carolina that has not seen the recent economic gains the rest of the state has and helping this area’s existing employers expand and grow is an important part of turning that around,” said Peter Byford, NMTC program senior manager at Tax Advantage Group.

SWISS KRONO USA’s expansion will have an economic ripple effect across the region.

SWISS KRONO Group is building a 250,000-square-foot expansion on its existing Barnwell, S.C., manufacturing facility, with help from the New Markets Tax Credit program.

The company will source its wood products locally, which will bolster the local timber industry. Previously, SWISS KRONO USA purchased all of the high and medium density fiberboard it used from out-of-state sources, which Barbara Ellenberg June, general counsel at SWISS KRONO USA, said costs about $6.5 million annually in the transportation of materials. Now, June said, the wood used at this facility will come from within a 75-mile radius.

By sourcing wood locally, Lin Van Hofwegen, managing director of Dakotas America, a CDE focused on rural investments across the country, said SWISS KRONO USA will reduce its carbon dioxide emission by 2,500 tons annually.

In addition to its direct job creation, The Innovate Fund, another of the four CDEs in the transaction, estimates the expansion could create 375 indirect/induced permanent jobs in the region. “The biggest attraction to us was this brought quality jobs to the area,” said Jamise Goodman, senior vice president, NMTC relationship manager at SunTrust Bank, which was the NMTC equity investor and a CDE in the transaction. “Eighty-six percent of the jobs are available to low-income people.”

“SWISS KRONO USA made a strong commitment to hire locally,” said Chris Leutzinger, first vice president, NMTC relationship manager at SunTrust. “We want to see quality jobs available to the local community. All of these jobs pay well above living wage.”

SWISS KRONO USA, which has operated in Barnwell since 2005, has 167 employees (pre-expansion) and is among the county’s largest employers.

SWISS KRONO USA runs an apprenticeship program in partnership with local high schools and Apprenticeship Carolina, a division of the South Carolina Technical College System. It also has a college co-op program where it collaborates with local and surrounding technical schools to provide programs that align with the skills and trades utilized in their operations, according to The Innovate Fund. Such workforce development programs are critical to enhancing the quality and accessibility of jobs to local community residents.

Construction of the expansion began in January 2017 and is expected to be complete by mid-2019.

NMTCs played a vital role in financing the expansion of the Barnwell facility. Four CDEs came together to provide $45.3 million in NMTC allocations.

National New Markets Fund provided a $17 million NMTC allocation. “This company has made nearly a half-billion-dollar ($430 million) investment in this community since first locating to Barnwell, S.C.,” said La Franchi of the National New Markets Fund, a CDE that invests in manufacturing companies in the South and Midwest. “This new expansion plants their roots even deeper into the Barnwell community. The high expansion costs could have precluded this project from occurring–as it was put off multiple times for that reason. We appreciate SWISS KRONO making this level of financial commitment to increase their economic impact in the community.”

The Innovate Fund provided an $11.3 million NMTC allocation. “This development is a big deal in the small town of Barnwell, S.C.,” said Whitney Ferguson, NMTC program manager of The Innovate Fund. “To help a local company expand, while improving income levels through the creation of quality jobs, made perfect sense for The Innovate Fund’s allocation. Currently, South Carolina ranks 45th in the nation in per capita income.”

Tammy Propst, president of Tax Advantage Group and operating officer of The Innovate Fund, said two challenges for The Innovate Fund in closing the investment were working with a foreign-owned qualified active low-income community business and working with multiple CDEs on the NMTC piece of the capital stack–both of which added significant time and complexity to the closing process. The Innovate Fund focuses its allocation on developments in South Carolina that improve income levels throughout the state.

Dakotas America provided a $10 million NMTC allocation. “Obviously, the number of jobs created is a big deal,” said Van Hofwegen. “The 605 permanent and construction jobs is incredibly impactful in an area with a 14.4 percent unemployment rate.” While Van Hofwegen was pleased with the high number of direct jobs, it was the indirect and induced jobs that caught her attention. “Particularly in rural projects, the impact of indirect and induced jobs can be even greater than the impact of the direct jobs. The indirect and induced impacts are often more obvious in rural communities.”

SunTrust provided a $7 million NMTC allocation and was the sole NMTC equity investor, providing $14.5 million in NMTC equity. “We brought NMTCs as a way to fund the significant expansion of the existing facility in Barnwell,” said Leutzinger. “This expansion will help SWISS KRONO USA reduce costs and its carbon footprint, as well as create demand for the local timber industry–85 percent of the wood will be harvested locally.”

Development financing also includes a $31 million leverage loan from SWISS KRONO TEC AG, a $1 million grant from the state, $1 million from South Carolina Electric and Gas and the remaining financing came from SWISS KRONO Holding AG.

“Helping an existing manufacturer expand in rural South Carolina is a great use of the NMTC program,” said Brad Elphick, CPA and partner in the Atlanta office of Novogradac & Company LLP, who prepared a financial forecast for the transaction, as well as an agreed-upon procedures report for the borrowing entity. “This expansion will have a long lasting impact on the community with its direct and indirect job creation.”

DHEC issues warning after toxic algae found in South Carolina lake

Swimming, fishing prohibited until further notice at Lake Edgar Brown in Barnwell CountyCOLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina's Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) has issued a recreational water advisory for Lake Edgar Brown in Barnwell County after DHEC detected the presence of toxic bacteria.According to the report, as part of DHEC’s routine monitoring of natural water bodies throughout the state, a...

Swimming, fishing prohibited until further notice at Lake Edgar Brown in Barnwell County

COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina's Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) has issued a recreational water advisory for Lake Edgar Brown in Barnwell County after DHEC detected the presence of toxic bacteria.

According to the report, as part of DHEC’s routine monitoring of natural water bodies throughout the state, a water sample was collected August 18 and tested August 19. The results indicated that microcystins, which are toxins produced by cyanobacteria (formerly known as blue-green algae), are present in the northern portion of Lake Edgar Brown at 9.50 micrograms per liter (ug/L, or parts per billion). This is greater than the state’s water quality standard of 8 ug/L.

Lake Edgar Brown is a 100-acre fishing lake, popular with anglers who catch large mouth bass, catfish and bluegill and is located about 60 miles southwest of Columbia.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency names microcystins a potent liver toxin and possible human carcinogen.

“Until further notice, no one should swim, wade or come into contact with the water or scum, foam or algae at Lake Edgar Brown,” said Bryan Rabon, DHEC’s Manager of Aquatic Science Programs with the Bureau of Water.

DHEC is working closely with the S.C. Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR), which advises no fish from Lake Edgar Brown should be consumed until the recreational water advisory is lifted. DHEC and SCDNR are posting notice of the advisory on signs at various locations around the lake.

Individuals are advised to seek medical attention if they or family members are experiencing illness after coming into contact with the water.

Pets and livestock also may be vulnerable to adverse health effects of microcystins at the level detected at Lake Edgar Brown above. Contact a veterinarian if animals show signs of illness.

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