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Meeting place needed in IL

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By The Staff

To conduct business in the Panhandle, some local officials have had to play a game of musical meeting sites. But that changed recently when Merrifield Partners, the developer of 521 Commerce Center on U.S. 521, donated a 1,300-square-foot space in its Pinckney Building.

Lancaster County Economic Development Corp., Lancaster County Chamber of Commerce and the local office of the S.C. Employment Security Commission will use the space.

"Often times, all of us have had a need for office space, a place to meet” in Indian Land, said LCEDC President Keith Tunnell.

The main offices of all three entities will remain in Lancaster and they will share the cost of a monthly $565 maintenance fee for the Indian Land office space. Tunnell is working with a Charlotte furniture company to furnish the office in lieu of LCEDC membership fees.

It is important to have a central site to conduct business. It is kind of hard to be impressive if you don+t even have place to meet. Dean Faile, president of the Lancaster County Chamber of Commerce, agrees.

“I think it’s going to be very advantageous to us,” Faile said. ”The (chamber) board is excited.”

The chamber plans to hire an employee who will concentrate on membership sales and programs. The employee will work in Lancaster three days a week and two days in Indian Land.

For years, officials have discussed plans to build a welcome center in Indian Land that would also house these entities. Faile said the donated office space is an “first step" in establishing a presence in the Panhandle.

Not only does the joint office establish a presence for these three entities in Indian Land, it also solidifies Indian Land as a part of Lancaster County.

The new office space will also be more convenient for those interested in moving into the area. It can't be anything but helpful to have a central site where information about our county can be shared with newcomers, potential business recruits and job applicants.

As the Indian Land area continues to expand, it will be even more important that these kinds of business entities, government offices and services are convenient to the growing population. With the opening of this office and Lancaster County Council considering opening a government services center here, things are definitely looking up for the Panhandle area.