Officials at the Augusta Metro Convention and Visitors Bureau told Columbia County Commission on Tuesday they are still hoping to work with the county on tourism efforts for the coming year.
As part of that effort, bureau officials presented the commission with a new brochure promoting Columbia County, titled Experience Columbia County Georgia.
Jennifer Bowen, a representative for the visitors bureau, told the commission 50,000 of the brochures were printed and would be distributed to such locations as the Savannah Rapids Visitors Center, the Evans Government Complex, the Interstate 20 welcome center and the Augusta Visitor Information Center. Brochures also will go out to 43 other visitors centers.
Bowen said that the brochures, which cost $8,016, will have a two-year shelf life and that the most recent brochure was printed in September 2001.
The brochure lists special event facilities in the county such as the Savannah Rapids Pavilion, the dance pavilion and dining hall on the Augusta Canal, the Wildwood Park Pavilion and Patriots Park.
The promotional brochure mentions such annual celebrations as the July Fourth celebration at Patriots Parks, the Laurel and Hardy Festival in Harlem and the Renaissance and Art Festival at Savannah Rapids Park. The only other event mentioned is something called Lakefest, which the brochure states is supposed to occur during the first weekend in June at Wildwood Park. In 2004, though, that event, which was then scheduled for Labor Day, was canceled.
After handing the brochure to the commissioners Tuesday night, Bowen said she hopes to continue working with the county to help promote it.
County officials have discussed ways they might gradually pull away from the Convention and Visitors Bureau and conduct their own efforts to attract tourism.
On Tuesday night, though, commission Chairman Ron Cross told Bowen a relationship with the visitors bureau will still be possible.
In other action in Tuesday's meeting, the commission also approved a new fire service agreement concerning the operation of a new Clary Cut Road fire station. Along with a new area to cover, which was unanimously approved by the commission Tuesday night, the Martinez Fire Department now has a new name - Martinez-Columbia Fire and Rescue. The name change comes as Martinez is preparing to cover more of Columbia County, agreeing to staff the Clary Cut Road station in Harlem starting Feb. 1 and, in about a year, to expand its district about five miles farther northwest in the county.
As a result, Harlem will start responding Feb. 1 on a pay-per-call basis to areas outside its city limits to the south and to an area to the northwest at $535 per call, said Pam Tucker, the county's emergency services director.
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