The Columbia County Board of Commissioners will return to Appling this year.
Columbia County officials look over renovation work under way in the Appling Courthouse last year. After the renovations are complete, the Columbia County Commission plans to meet in the historic courthouse once every three months.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
At a Management and Financial Services Committee meeting Monday, commissioners agreed to resume meetings in Appling once a quarter after construction work at the Appling Courthouse is completed.
The issue of meeting once a quarter in Appling will go up for a final vote at the county's board of commissioners meeting Tuesday.
The county's ordinance concerning meetings calls for a meeting in Appling once a month.
However, because of construction work at the courthouse, the commission has rescinded that requirement until the work is completed.
In the meantime, the commission has been holding all of its meetings at the Evans Government Complex.
Renovation work at the courthouse is expected to be completed by June, with a dedication expected to occur in July, said Mark Chostner, the county's facilities manager.
At a Monday public works committee meeting, officials were told that there are plans to add new heart pine flooring to the courtroom and gas valves to the courthouse's existing propane gas lines as part of the renovation work there.
The need for a new floor in the courtroom arose after workers removed carpet and a plywood base, exposing the original pine floor, which had been painted using a lead-based paint.
"When you move lead paint around, you have to remove it by certified folks,'' Chostner said. "And to just remove the lead paint off that floor to get it prepared was $11,000.''
He said an additional $3,000 to $4,000 would be needed to fix holes in the original floor from where the plywood had been nailed down onto it.
"Instead of spending that $15,000, we said why don't we just invest in a new heart pine floor to go over the top,'' he said.
"Then you have a floor that's brand new, and you've got less maintenance problems.''
The new floor will cost $21,564, Chostner said.
Commission Chairman Ron Cross said holding meetings again in the Appling Courthouse has a two-pronged purpose.
"We need to utilize that building because of its significance in the county and to make attendance more convenient (for those in the Appling area),'' he said.
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