A revised set of phases for how water restrictions are to be implemented in Columbia County was unanimously adopted by Columbia County commissioners Tuesday night.
The water conservation ordinance revision does not change the way county residents are currently allowed to water outdoors. However, it does add a couple of additional future phases, should they be needed, to bring the county's plan more in line with the state.
Currently, Columbia County is in a first phase of water conservation. That phase was mandated by the state. However, the county got permission from the state to have differing days of watering, allowing residents and businesses at even addresses to water on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays; those at odd addresses to water on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays; and no watering on Mondays.
Although the first phase won't change, officials say the county needs to adjust its additional phases in case the state mandates stricter water conservation in the future.
Before Tuesday night's vote, Columbia County had only three phases of water conservation: even-odd watering, even-odd watering with allotted times and no watering. Now, the county has the same number of phases as the state - five.
The idea was to add two phases to Columbia County's plan so the county doesn't have to go directly to no outdoor watering, thereby skipping a state phase that might allow watering for certain times.
In other action at Tuesday's meeting:
County commissioners voted unanimously to look into a possible capital improvement plan and bond issue to help pay for projects that have become backlogged because of a lack of funds. That bond could be as high as $100 million, and if approved, could go before voters and possibly cause a tax increase, officials said. Commission Chairman Ron Cross said the county would assess which projects need to be undertaken, such as road improvements and drainage problems, and what the cost would be.
Commissioners heard from an official representing massage therapists. Commissioners were told many therapists want to identify those in the area who are operating without a national license and have the county's ordinance concerning the profession updated to better enforce proper credentials.
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