Columbia County commissioners will take up the issue of a proposed capital improvement projects list for what could be a final time this year at a called meeting Monday.
At the work session, which is set to begin at 10 a.m. at the Evans Government Complex, commissioners will see if there is still a consensus to pursue the CIP and accompanying bond issue, Commission Chairman Ron Cross said.
If commissioners agree to proceed Monday, another meeting will be held either Tuesday or Wednesday to vote on whether to send the issue to the November General Election ballot.
If approved, the bond issue would be paid back with a one mill increase in the county's tax rate for a 12-year period.
Recently, the capital improvement projects list became a controversial topic when Sheriff Clay Whittle said he wouldn't support the bond proposal after a heated meeting with county officials.
Whittle voiced his opposition after Commissioner Steve Brown questioned Columbia County Probate Judge Pat Hardaway about the need for an accounting software upgrade for probate and magistrate courts. Brown asked whether Hardaway's office could function without the software.
At a special called meeting July 28, Grovetown officials decided that they cannot support the bond issue, citing a straw poll on the July primary ballot in which 63 percent of residents did not support it.
Commissioners, however, have said they feel the poll question was premature because an exact list of projects to be funded by the bond hadn't been determined at the time of the primary.
Recently, the county issued a revised preliminary list of projects that would be funded. That list included projects for Grovetown and Harlem, with $2 million set aside for water and sewer work.
Grovetown officials said they have a problem with the county owning projects that would be constructed with bond money inside the city. The commission, however, said that according to state law, all projects on the list must be owned by the county.
The revised projects list also included $2.5 million for transportation projects to support new school construction; $460,000 to design and install a new Emergency Services radio/antenna tower and remove a nonfunctional tower; and $450,000 for a concept design for expanding the sheriff's office's administration building, a master plan for the Appling Detention Center site and the purchase and installation of a shooting-practice building.
The overall preliminary list of proposed projects totals $41,618,765. That's $10.6 million for stormwater projects; $13.5 million for transportation; $7.3 million for recreation; and $10 million for buildings, emergency services, management services and planning projects.
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