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Good move to put agencies under one roof

Posted: February 12, 2012 - 12:00am  |  Updated: February 12, 2012 - 4:27am

Columbia County’s government has done a good job in recent months looking for cost savings by consolidating staff positions and constantly re-evaluating job descriptions.

Another move toward consolidation underway involves quasi-governmental agencies rather than employees, and is even more good news for the county.

Currently, the county’s Convention and Visitors Bureau (funded with hotel-motel taxes), Chamber of Commerce (funded with membership fees) and Development Authority (supported by the general fund) are headquartered in three separate locations – but that soon could change.

Columbia County officials recently awarded a bid to renovate the county’s former health department headquarters at the Evans government complex, using funding pieced together mostly from interest on previous sales tax funds.

Once completed, officials expect the CVB, Chamber and Development Authority to pay rent for a share of the office space in the new facility, said County Administrator Scott Johnson.

The advantage for those agencies will be their ability to share resources, including administrative staff and common areas such as meeting facilities. The advantage to the county and its citizens will be the one-stop shopping provided by having three different agencies, which sometimes overlap in missions, available under one roof.

These changes especially are important while the county’s CVB mission is under re-evaluation. The timing is perfect to see if there are better ways for it to serve the county while making better use of its dedicated source of hotel-motel tax funding.

The agencies are expected to move to their new facility later this year. All in all, a good move.

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