There was a time when the Augusta Museum of History's membership was made up primarily of 300 residents of Augusta's Summerville neighborhood.
Now that the museum's membership roster has expanded to 1,300 people - between 300 and 400 of them living in Columbia County - its mission is also expanding to include more history beyond Augusta's borders, museum officials told the Columbia County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday.
"The history we portray down there (at the museum) is not limited to what occurred in Richmond County," said Bill Coleman, the president of the museum's board of trustees. "It covers Columbia and part of McDuffie, Burke and Edgefield and Aiken."
The museum, in downtown Augusta, receives funding from Richmond and Columbia county governments.
Columbia County gave the museum $10,000 last year, Coleman said, adding that the board has made a request to again be included in the county's budget plans for next year.
Columbia County has received a steady stream of suggestions for its new logo.
Photo by Barry Paschal
"We just said we would like an increase, and do what you can," he said. "They've been supportive in the past."
The museum's executive director, Scott Loehr, showed a video presentation to the county commissioners about how the museum operates and highlighted some of the ways it is reaching out to help Columbia County with its history preservation.
"Our new mission is not only to interpret that history but also to make our services available to other, smaller historical agencies in the CSRA," Loehr said, adding that the museum already is working with the Grovetown Museum and the Laurel & Hardy Museum of Harlem.
"I know that as this county builds its library, it is planning to have a heritage room," Loehr said. "It would be the desire of the museum to assist in the development of that heritage room in any way that we possibly can."
Also at Tuesday's meeting, the commissioners gave preliminary approval for an ordinance that would require all building contractors and building inspectors working in the county to register with officials.
The state does not have a law requiring builders to be licensed, and only a handful of counties in Georgia have passed their own mandatory registration rules.
Another vote is needed to pass Columbia County's builders registration ordinance, which could come at the commissioners' next meeting Dec. 16.
The board killed a rezoning request from Emmanuel Faith Tabernacle church, which was to buy a 15.5-acre parcel of land on Hereford Farm Road to build a new church.
The project had received stiff opposition from neighbors, who were concerned with the recreation fields and facilities shown in the church's future plans for the property.
The church will have to wait six months if it wants to re-apply for the rezoning request of the property, but the church's pastor said his congregations also will be looking at other available sites in Columbia County.
At the commissioners' meeting, Columbia County Project Administrator Marilyn Heuer had several logo submissions she has received from the public on display.
As the county looks to update its existing logo, officials asked for residents to turn in their ideas. Several turned in so far have decided to keep the half-dome shape of the county's current New Horizons logo, while others have chosen to include images of the lake and families. Submissions are due by Dec. 19 and can be faxed to Heuer's office at 868-3348 or e-mailed to email@example.com.
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