Proposals addressed at Tuesday’s Columbia County Commission meeting amounted to a series of hellos and farewells.
The commission approved official notification of separation from the East Central Georgia Regional Library System, currently headquartered in Augusta, to form a new library system with Lincoln and Warren counties. The proposal requires official notification to the Georgia Public Library System no later than Dec. 31, but Columbia County Leisure Services Division Director Barry Smith said the notification could be made as early as next week.
The new library network would use the Evans library as its central hub and begin operation in the summer of 2013. Forming a new library system will mean additional state funding and library positions for the three counties.
Commissioners also approved a proposal for Masters Week events produced by event and marketing agencies the Savor Society, Sports 1 Marketing and BaAM productions and featuring free and ticketed events. Columbia County would donate the use of the Evans Towne Center Park and Lady Antebellum Pavilion and pay up to $8,000 in set-up and cleaning expenses.
“I think this is just a wonderful way to showcase Columbia County and the park,” said Commissioner Charles Allen.
The companies involved previously have staged high-profile events such as Major League Baseball and National Hockey League Fanfests, the Ultra Music Festival in Miami and a variety of events at major sporting events such as the Super Bowl and Fiesta Bowl. The event will be an expansion on the Par Tee @ the Park staged during this year’s tournament.
Many citizens attending Tuesday’s meeting ended up waiting to speak out about a bus station that would never come. Al Harris, who had asked to have a large parcel of land near Pumpkin Center rezoned as general industrial, withdrew his request. He had planned to build a motor coach office and maintenance yard on the property. Harris was not present at the meeting.
In other business, the Columbia County Tax Commissioner’s Office presented its annual report to the County Commission. According to the report, the total amount of taxes collected were $99,560,919 from property and street light taxes and $9,753,732 from motor vehicle taxes. The report also indicated continued county growth, with 1,093 residential and 80 commercial building permits issued in 2011.