Residents will get a final chance Thursday to voice their opinion to the Columbia County Commission on a proposed $43 million bond issue before it goes to a Nov. 7 vote.
The county's town hall meeting concerning its proposed bond issue and accompanying capital improvement projects list will take place at 6 p.m. at Savannah Rapids Pavilion.
At the meeting, county officials will spell out the bond proposal and how it would pay for many projects in four categories: public safety, transportation, recreation and water.
At the past two town hall meetings, there have been some pointed questions to county officials from the public regarding some of the projects that the bond would fund.
Commission Chairman Ron Cross says he believes that residents will support the effort in the general election.
"The people in Columbia County have been very supportive of those kinds of things, particularly in the last 20 years, and I believe they'll see the value in going ahead and tackling these things now and will approve it,'' he said. "But it just remains to be seen.''
In the general election, voters will cast four votes on each of the project categories.
If they approve all four categories, a 1-mill increase would be needed to pay off the bond over a 13-year period. That works out to about a $40 increase a year in property taxes on a home valued at $100,000.
County officials say the breakdown in yearly cost in property taxes on such a home for each category would be $11.40 for water projects; $15.44 for transportation; $8.52 for recreation and $4.64 for public safety.
If the bond isn't approved, officials say, it could take five to 10 years before the projects could be started and the county's next special purpose local option sales tax won't occur until 2011.
County officials say waiting to start the needed capital improvement projects will cost the county more as project prices increase.
The Columbia County News-Times ©2013. All Rights Reserved.