Camden mayor upbeat despite recession, thanks to stimulus funds

Located 30 miles northeast of Columbia, the city of Camden has seen its share of growth over the past several years and with it a greater demand for municipal services and infrastructure improvements. Mayor Jeffrey Graham says like mayors in every corner of the state  he looks forward to utilizing funds from the federal stimulus package.
Graham says as the economic situation improves Camden must be prepared for the growth that is likely to come. “Obviously our growth has slowed down a great deal because of the economy, but we also realize that the growth is going to continue to come our way and part of it is keeping up with the infrastructure and making sure our utilities, our sewer and water systems are adequate to serve the needs of this community.”
Graham says the city of Camden has a number of shovel ready projects that can be geared up to create jobs and keep  a number of city employees on the job.
Graham says he has paid keen attention to Governor Sanford’s opposition to the stimulus package, but he is not overly concerned about the Governor’s attempt to block the state’s acceptance of stimulus cash.  “I think the part the governor keeps talking about, the $700 million that he is trying to prevent, I believe in the bill itself that he can actually only stop a portion of these funds anyway. So the way the bill is written there are funds that go directly to the Department of Transportation things like that the Governor has no way to stop whatsoever.”
Graham says at this point in time the city of Camden needs all its city employees on the job and he hopes that continues to be the case. “We haven’t had any furloughs and we have no intentions this year to lay anyone off and I think hopefully our budgets will stay strong as we plan for next year’s budget, but have no intentions to let any of our employees off or do any furloughs at  this point. As time moves forward we will have to adjust and see.”