Columbia County residents will have one more opportunity this week to pitch their ideas for projects they want funded with 1-cent sales tax money.
Two public meetings scheduled for today and tomorrow will solicit suggestions as county commissioners look to start weeding out contenders for the county's 2005-2010 capital improvements plan.
On July 20, voters will be asked whether they want to extend the county's 1-cent sales tax.
Before then, county commissioners must decide what projects, ranging from recreation to transportation, to include on the referendum.
A consultant hired by the county to help with the process has been interviewing county department heads, local officials and held four meetings last fall to record residents' opinions.
"This will be the last public meetings prior to the commissioners starting to deliberate and starting to make some decisions," said Robin Chasman, a consultant with Atlanta-based Chasman & Associates LLC, who is leading the meetings and reporting back to the Columbia County Board of Commissioners. "This would be the best time for someone to identify those things they think are important in the way of capital needs."
The current local 1-cent tax, which voters approved in 2000, is scheduled to run out in 2005. As of the end of November's sales, it has raised nearly $30.6 million for projects.
The county's consultant will be accepting public suggestions for those who cannot attend this week's public meetings. The suggestions need to be submitted soon since county officials will start prioritizing projects in the coming weeks. The public can send in their opinions the following ways:
E-mail to rchasman@CAengineers.com
Mail directly to the county: Columbia County Board of Commissioners; Capital Improvements Plan; P.O. Box 498; Evans, GA 30809
Fax to 868-3348
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