The new Columbia County Library is expected to be getting some new Thursday hours. Meanwhile, a retention pond at the memorial gardens next to the library might be receiving a new addition - that of a decorative fence.
In Monday committee meetings, the Columbia County Commission agreed to consider both possibilities. Concerning the library, the commission tentatively agreed to allow the facility's doors to stay open three hours later on Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. The library is open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday and Tuesday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday-Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday.
Columbia County Commission Chairman Ron Cross said the full board of commissioners will give the final vote on the extended hours at its next meeting Tuesday.
"We're going to do that,'' Cross said. "I'd say it (the new extended hours) would happen in the next couple of weeks.''
County officials said the suggestion for extended hours on Thursdays came at the request of many residents, who have stated that they would prefer the hours of the new library near the Evans Judicial Center to fall more in line with those of the closed Gibbs Library.
To offer the extended Thursday hours, Barry Smith, the county's community and leisure services director, said it will require the county to hire two temporary employees for the library, a request that was made in a budget hearing, one of three county meetings Monday.
Smith said that if approved, the cost of the extended hours will be $42,432.
In another committee meeting, Cross also requested that county staff look into the possibility of having a decorative fence placed around a pond in the new Evans memorial gardens, next to the library.
The fence would be for safety purposes and comes in light of residents' concern about the danger of children possibly venturing too close to the pond while unattended.
Commissioner Lee Anderson told fellow board members Monday that he already had seen a young child go into the pond unattended.
County staff told the commission that they would examine the possibility of a decorative fence at the pond and get back to them with a cost estimate.
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