As a couple of letters on today's page point out, county commissioners on Tuesday will consider allowing the continued installation of speed humps on Rivermont Drive, in Evans.
They should. More to the point, they shouldn't have stopped the installation in the first place.
Commissioners in a recent committee meeting, at which a couple of opponents of the Rivermont speed-hump installation spoke out, expressed surprise that the issue had so divided the neighbors.
Those neighbors should be more surprised that commissioners were too weak-kneed to stick to their own rules.
Nancy Jackson and a majority of her neighbors want speed humps installed on the single straight street to cut down on speeding motorists. She asked county officials what to do, and they gave her instructions for completing the petition process.
Jackson followed their instructions to the letter, meticulously documenting more than the required number of signatures and turning everything in. The county started construction, and it was then that one of the neighbors - whom Jackson says she tried to contact twice during the petition process, without success - suddenly raised heck.
Rather than trust their own process, county officials were intimidated by the challenge and stalled. Commissioners on Tuesday will take up the issue and decide whether to let the installation proceed.
Not only should they move aside and let the installation continue, but commissioners should now rewrite their rules for speed hump petitions. If they're going to allow the third degree of doubt to confront a citizen who goes by the book, perhaps the county's staff should conduct the surveys themselves.
Fixing the ramps
Torrential rains last weekend overwhelmed silt fences and caused an ugly soil erosion mess downstream from the Blackstone Camp Road middle school construction site. The red mud running into creeks and the river was awful.
All that rain made a mess in my back yard, too, in the midst of a minor construction project.
But the water didn't much help the level at Clarks Hill Lake, where the summer's drought has turned the million-dollar Wildwood Park boat "mega-ramps" into mini ski jumps.
The county can't do anything about the falling water levels at the lake, but with the Corps of Engineers' record of letting the pool drain in the past, you'd think the county would have built the new ramps to accommodate a reasonable drought.
Instead, even though the water level isn't remotely as bad as it was just four years ago - it's only about 6 feet below full now, compared to 15 feet below in 2002 - the ramps still drop off too soon for boaters to use them safely.
The county is now installing concrete "mats" to extend the ramps. The ramps are then supposed to be usable again in time for another major bass-fishing tournament scheduled for mid-October.
Except for trying to save money, there's no good excuse for having failed to build the ramps long enough to withstand even a moderate drought.
These mega-ramps have attracted a substantial amount of tourist money to the county since they were built. While it took substantial vision to install them in the first place, they're also a perfect lesson that sometimes saving a few dollars up front can cost more down the road.
A final note: Maybe I'm living in a cave or something, but am I the only person who couldn't care less about who anchors the evening network news on CBS?
Barry L. Paschal is publisher of The Columbia County News-Times. E-mail comments to firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 706-863-6165, extension 106.
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