I have read the insert in the Columbia County water bill and I am really curious how much is convenience really worth to the citizens and taxpayers of Columbia County. Here are some examples of current or recent expenditures by the Columbia County Government for the same:
a. New Georgia State Patrol Office, approximately $2 million, totally funded by Columbia County tax monies
b. New Georgia State Health Department Office, approximately $4 million, totally funded by Columbia County tax monies
c. Georgia State Driver’s License Bureau which includes office lease and all utilities, several thousand dollars per month, totally funded by Columbia County tax monies
d. Widening of Georgia State Highway 104 section of Washington Road from Gibbs Road to William Few Parkway, approximately $45 million, totally funded by Columbia County tax monies.
No state monies involved for a state highway.
e. Georgia State Extension Services Office in Appling, supplied and totally funded by Columbia County tax monies
f. Over $60,000 spent on a recycle rental station, located at Evans Town Park paid by Columbia County tax monies.
g. Over $7 million
to build the new Exhibition Center located at the Gateway area in Columbia County, totally funded by Columbia County tax monies
h. The county purchased the old 27,000-square-foot Rhodes-Murphy building for $3 million in hopes it will eventually house an incubator for tech companies to support the use of the Broadband installation.
i. Broadband that no public user may ever access as it must be regulated. Maintenance and upkeep now will fall on the Columbia County Citizens to fund using tax monies. Grant monies were used to install with matching funds by the county. Again tax monies.
Columbia County Chairman Ron Cross and Interim Tax Commissioner chose to close the Appling Tag/Tax Office quoted to save approximately $100,000 and at best I would question this as all personnel were relocated to the Evans Office. And with the move there are potential problems:
1. The citizens in the western end of the county now must drive further which increases their gasoline cost so what about their one convenience?
2. Adds more foot traffic to an already busy office and work force.
3. Adds more auto traffic to an already busy parking and traffic pattern at the government complex
I talked to Jim Bartley, candidate Columbia County Commission Chairman and he has pledged if elected he will work with the new elected Tax Commissioner and the citizens to consider a Tag/Tax Office in the western area of our county.
Eastern Columbia County Citizens, please join us Western and Southern Columbia County Citizens to elect Jim Bartley, as Chairman of the Columbia County Commission and re-open a second Tag/Tax Office in our community.
Billy Morris, Appling