The Columbia County Chamber recognizes the importance of the 2006 Columbia County Capital Improvements Projects (CIP) Bond, and that both our membership and overall county quality of life will be significantly affected by the success or failure of the bond referendum vote.
In the past couple weeks, a survey was sent out to our 800-plus members. The survey received a good response level, with each of the four categories receiving high 80 to low 90 percent approval.
As a result, the Government Affairs Committee and Chamber Executive Committee made the decision to ensure that chamber members and Columbia County voters have the facts concerning this critical issue. Members from our Government Affairs Committee have formed a sub-committee that will be a strong voice in the weeks ahead communicating the importance of these projects.
Over the past several years, the Chamber has heard from many of our members that they are concerned the county is not keeping up and/or not getting ahead of infrastructure needs. Congested roadways, expanded public safety needs, critical water and drainage issues, along with the strong desire to see quality of life enhancement through more park and recreational facilities are frequently-voiced concerns. Columbia County commissioners and department heads created the CIP from more than 100 requests by citizens in committee meetings, public hearings and complaints.
We live in one of the best counties in the United States and have the opportunity to ensure our quality of life continues to grow. Keep in mind that this plan, like all others in the past and future, is for specific projects that may not be in your neighborhood but benefit the present countywide priorities. It is prudent for these critical projects to be completed at today's costs rather than tomorrow's. Delays will take some of these projects to past 2011 when the next SPLOST opportunity could take place. Many of the key transportation projects, including William Few Parkway, include Georgia Department of Transportation matches of dollars in the millions that, if not secured, will be provided to another county ready to utilize them.
The four project categories with all projects are listed at www.col umbiacountyga.gov; click on "Capital Improvements Plan Update" on the home page. It is important to again note that each of the categories is to be voted upon, meaning that there are four separate votes on the November ballot. Please study the projects. We encourage you to vote for each category on Nov. 7.
Gordon Renshaw, Executive Director
George Duehring, Board Chairman
Columbia County Chamber of Commerce
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