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Commission OKs BMX track funding

Posted: November 5, 2011 - 11:04pm

Twitter @DonnieFetter

Columbia County commissioners approved Tuesday funds for drawing a plan to build BMX racing and skate tracks at Blanchard Woods Park.

Augusta-based architectural firm Johnson, Laschober and Associates will develop a site plan for tracks at the Evans park on Blanchard Road for a $4,800 fee, according to county documents.

Many BMX enthusiasts attended the meeting and applauded the commission’s 3-0 vote to approve the funding.

The site plan for the proposed facility will include layout, spectator viewing areas, staging areas, pit areas, size and location of the track and skate parks, according to a letter sent to county officials from the firm.

County Community and Leisure Services Director Barry Smith told commissioners that the original master plan for the park included designs for a BMX track and skate park. He said that just a small fraction of the 140-acre park has been developed. Also, more than 80 percent of BMX enthusiasts in this area live in Columbia County, Smith has said.

The Augusta area currently has a BMX track in a dilapidated neighborhood near Lake Olmstead Stadium, but some Augusta BMX officials have said that the location is dangerous.

During recent committee meetings, an Augusta BMX official told commissioners that the Augusta track often is vandalized and that a small office at the track is riddled with bullet holes.

Shayne Robinson, a USA BMX official from Peachtree City, Ga., pledged her organization’s support if commissioners proceed with building the facility.


• Commissioners approved the purchase of 21 new Dodge Chargers for use as patrol vehicles by the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office. Thomson Motor Centre won a more than $560,000 contract to provide the Chargers. In the past, the sheriff’s office used Ford Crown Victorias as patrol vehicles, but Ford plans to discontinue the model. Already the sheriff’s office has four Chargers in service and they have performed well, according to officials.

• Eight acres at 3855 Evans-to-Locks Road were rezoned for use as an assisted-living facility.

• The Disaster Volunteer Assistance Management Plan was approved. Developed by the county Emergency and Operations Division, the 12-page plan offers guidance to officials on how best to use untrained, spontaneous volunteers during disasters.

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