Evans resident Kristie Quattlebaum says she knew something had to be done.
Two years ago, her brother's niece had drowned in a retention pond in Hawaii.
With such an experience behind her, she couldn't help but notice a similar pond without a fence near her own subdivision, which is close to a playground in Columbia County's new memorial gardens area next to the new library.
"We live in Northwood, and when we walked up to this pond the first time ..., I was flabbergasted,'' Quattlebaum said. "The first thing that I noticed was here was this playground equipment and this multimillion-dollar facility and there was no protection for the pond whatsoever.''
Quattlebaum responded by e-mailing county commission members about the situation, urging them to approve money for a fence around the pond to help keep children from venturing into the pond unattended.
On Tuesday night, Quattlebaum got the answer she was looking for.
"I was very thankful that they did that without me having to continue to hound them because I wasn't going to let up,'' she said.
During Tuesday night's commission meeting, board members gave the go-ahead for the fence, telling county staff to get at least three quotes on how much such a structure would cost.
Commissioners said the cost shouldn't exceed $45,700 and that the money would come from the special purpose local option sales tax.
"I think we need to get that fence up pretty quick, so we need to expedite it,'' said County Commissioner Tommy Mercer in a committee meeting before Tuesday night's full board meeting.
All five commissioners agreed that the fence should go up quick to prevent children from venturing into the pond unattended.
The pond and the memorial gardens are open to the public.
The only issue of discussion about the fence at Tuesday night's commission meeting was what it should look like.
"I'm not in favor of wood or steel fencing. I think the vinyl fence is the best in style,'' Cross said, later adding "I'm against putting chain link around that pond.''
In the end, commissioners agreed to a 4-foot-tall vinyl fence.
"In our opinion, four foot will be adequate,'' said Scott Herring, the county's Construction and Maintenance Services director.
Quattlebaum said the 4-foot-tall fence sounds OK to her.
"That's probably good enough, attorneys would tell them, from a liability standpoint, that they have done something,'' she said on Wednesday. "As of right now, there's no sign, there's no nothing. I mean I'd have been up there with chicken wire and sticking something in the ground immediately.''
In other action at Tuesday night's commission meeting, board members also approved the county's fiscal year 2006-07 budget, with the exception of two items.
The commission voted unanimously in favor of the budget after voting to pull the two items for further consideration. Those items, which could be added to an amended budget at the commission's next meeting on June 20, involved a request of $75,000 for a group called Project Access, which seeks to provide health care to the county's uninsured between 18 and 64, and an additional $15,000 to the county's recreation department to fund travel for All Star teams. The recreation department's budget for such travel recently was reduced from $30,000 to $15,000.
Whether it's amended at a later date or not, the budget is set to go into effect July 1 and has a general fund that's 9.58 percent higher than a year ago for a total of $48.3 million.
The county's millage, which helps determine how much a property owner pays in county taxes, will stay unchanged.
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