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Are you a good neighbor?

Posted: August 13, 2014 - 12:19am

Are you a good neighbor, or are you responsible for the heinous disease that is creeping over Columbia County? It is not getting you sick; there is no need to call a doctor, as it is not stealing your health but rather your wealth.

It happens every day and we do nothing to stop it. Some complain to those in charge but it seems they are powerless in stopping this creeping malignancy. Yes, even those of you who thought you were safe because of a homeowner’s association are not immune from this rotting disease. What negatively affects one part of a county has a negative effect on all of a county. There is no escaping it. Lack of action from residents, whether you live behind gates or not, are part of the problem if they do nothing. Your home property values are being stolen. As neighborhoods go down in appearance and lose their appeal the natural upward rise in property value does not occur, and in fact, the reversal is true that values go down.

This negative condition hurts all Columbia County residents as property tax revenues do not increase, as one would expect, and those properties that do increase are now assessed to pick up more of the county expenses percentage wise. Yes, property mill rates have held steady as county population increases, but this continued growth will not last forever without degradation of county services such as schools, police, fire, medical services, water, sewage, roads and other services provided by the local government. Property and school mill rates will have to go up as shown recently by a proposed Richmond County mill rate increase for its residents. The same will happen in Columbia County in the future.

Maintaining one’s lawn is not easy, but it is not that difficult either. Letting it go to where it is a disgrace to the neighborhood shows lack of character and lack of pride. Do you cut your lawn in such away that the grass debris goes in the street, which in turn may clog storm sewers? Do you ever clean the street gutter of grass, leaves and other trash? Are there piles of tree limbs still on your front lawn placed there after the county picked-up storm debris?

Do you leave your waste cans out all week even after being picked up and emptied? Is it too much trouble to put them back into their place in a timely manner?

Do you park your vehicles on the front lawn and so close to the house that you are just a few steps to the living room? Is your back/front yard full of unlicensed inoperative vehicles waiting to become classics or repaired but never will be? These unsightly vehicles make the whole neighborhood look bad and gives the impression that the owner or renter just doesn’t care.

Columbia County is a great place to live, but all residents have to help keep it that way.

We must pitch in in maintaining our community, and work toward making it better not only for us today, but also for our children and grandchildren of tomorrow.

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