"A penny saved is a penny earned", who said that ancient saying? I think maybe Ben Franklin, or was it the Columbia County voters?
There are a few citizens that remember our first SPLOST project. It was Savannah Rapids, our crown jewel. Next came Patriots Park, another high-use facility. After these projects were paid for, the voters came back to our County government and requested another SPLOST.
Together our county commissioners and the voters have come to expect excellent facilities in the county. Quality of life in Columbia County means to you and me, education with high SAT scores, and lower expenditures per pupil ratios, recreation facilities and programs that are second to none, low crime rates, and a feeling of security for our families. Does this sound familiar? It should, as it all ties in to our SPLOST programs.
Look at some of the current projects that will expire in 2005. There seems to be something for everyone:
o Recreation: Wildwood Parkboat ramps, floating docks, and a pavilion;
o Savannah RapidsDance pavilion, Lockkeeper's Cottage;
o Blanchard Parkpurchase land.
o Transportation: Dirt road paving, road resurfacing, and Washington Road improvements.
o Public Safety: 911 System, Horizon North Industrial Park-road, and Horizon South Industrial Park-expansion.
o Library and Performing Arts Centerplease visualize the new library.
I attended a couple of SPLOST hearings and came away with the idea that our citizens wanted to continue most of the same type projects as we had in the past.
The soccer moms were heard, and the plan calls for eight new fields at Blanchard Woods Park, along with other facilities. The county has opened the dance pavilion, and the Lockkeeper's Cottage, and we need additional parking with restrooms. A pedestrian bridge is planned.
Wildwood Park will get improvements as well as Reed Creek Park. We continue to grow in population and the county will look to purchase more land for parks and greenspace.
More people equates to more road paving and maintenance. Some projects will get matching funds from the state.
You have requested more modern fire protection and sheriff services, and this is addressed by building new fire stations. The Sheriff's Office will get communication systems improvements, as well as an emergency operations center.
The county will construct new water and sewer lines in the unincorporated areas of the county. The cities of Harlem and Grovetown will also share in the intergovernmental funding. We will add funding for computer system upgrades and Savannah Rapids pavilion will be refurbished.
If we had to pay to pay for these new projects by increasing the tax you and I pay on our homes it would be tough to digest. Extending the 1-cent sales tax makes sense and we don't get a tax increase on our homes to pay for these projects.
Our quality of life is great; let's continue the progress. Vote YES on July 20!
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