Greenspace and recreation were the main topics on the agenda at a meeting of District 2 residents but virtually all the issues at Columbia County Commissioner Frank Spears' session revolved around one theme: growth.
Nearly two dozen Evans and Martinez residents met with Spears on Nov. 5 at the Evans Government Auditorium to see a presentation by Recreation and Leisure Services Director Frank Neal and to quiz Spears on district issues.
Spears holds the meetings periodically to hear residents' concerns and to present information on government activity.
Neal offered insight into the county's greenspace preservation program and on a recreation master plan. Residents, though, wanted answers to questions on traffic and land development.
John Grantham, project manager for Jones Creek Golf Club, said the club is planning to spend nearly $300,000 to dredge accumulated silt from its main pond. But he and other Jones Creek residents worry that the money would be spent in vain if runoff from nearby development fills the pond again.
"If we do spend all this money and all this silt comes in, we've wasted all our money," Grantham said. "In 17 years, we've cleaned it out three times."
Spears said the county has designed a retention pond near Jones Creek that would help catch runoff before it reaches the subdivision, but he added the county doesn't yet have the funds to pay for it.
"The plans are on the drawing board," Spears said. "No money."
Resident and builder Ernie Blackburn pointed out that changes to silt control from construction sites has helped cut down on runoff.
"Even seven or eight years ago, we didn't take erosion control very seriously," Blackburn said.
Potential traffic and runoff problems also play into West Lake residents' concerns about a proposed apartment complex on Furys Ferry Road. Spears says planning officials are working with the developers to get a more detailed plan for the site before considering zoning changes that could allow the apartments.
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