Grovetown is an old city with a rich Southern, historic heritage. It is now the premier and largest city in Columbia County and one of the fastest-growing areas in the county. Before Flagler built the railroad to Florida, many Boston and New York vacationers in the late 19th and early 20th centuries came to "winter" in the Augusta area, and Grovetown had hotels that shared in this.
Grovetown flourished during World War II as "Camp Gordon" developed into Fort Gordon - hundreds of new residents were added in that process. Suddenly, in the last decade or so, Grovetown has exploded, adding more than 15 modern, new subdivisions and more on the way. These new areas have been annexed into the city doubling the land area, more than doubling the population and significantly added to tax digest value.
Columbia County consolidation would end this process by placing a noose about Grovetown and prevent further growth. The recent "rationing" of sewer taps by Columbia County gives a "feel" for that type squeeze.
There is a potential downside to rapid growth. It must be managed. New infrastructure, roads to handle added traffic, greenways, new light industry and particularly retail service businesses must be added to the mix to assure balance and a good quality of life. The "old" small town atmosphere must be maintained-our historic structures must be identified, preserved and play a positive role in the new mix. The Grovetown "suburbs" - the new subdivisions - must be melded into the mix.
I have the experience, energy and time to join Mayor Dennis Trudeau and the City Council leadership to help make all this happen. I ask for the Grovetown citizens' votes next Tuesday, July 18.
Dick Manion, Grovetown
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