My husband and I are seniors on fixed incomes and residents of Columbia County for almost a year, having moved from Augusta. I am writing to support passage of the four issues in the bond referendum, despite the anticipated tax increase. If infrastructure needs are addressed in incremental time periods, the desirability of living in Columbia County and property values will continue to grow. This is part of the problem that Richmond County now deals with: poor planning and maintenance of infrastructure, and a citizenry that does not support the financial needs to correct these problems.
Homeowners should support the bond referendum. I would like to remind the leaders of Columbia County that the population of Georgia and Columbia County is growing, particularly in the senior age range. This population adds considerably to the tax base, but brings with it the need for greater attention to handicapped accessibility. Our truly beautiful amphitheater at the library is an example of very poor planning for handicapped accessibility by the supposed "professionals." The planners never consult people with various disabilities; they "meet whatever the code requires."
I am one of the many handicapped/walking challenged individuals. I have a small scooter that I use, but I am unable to access the amphitheater. The ramp down is too long and steep, there is no handicap parking closer than the side of the library, and no way to access it by a car down the ramp, all of which makes it too long a walk for anyone using a walker or a cane to get down to it. There is not even a railing on which to hold.
I would not make a complaint and speak for those who are "challenged" taxpayers in our county without a suggestion for remediation: the back ramp which is used for trucks to maintain the property, and/or groups to set up for musical programs, could be widened and at least six handicapped parking spaces identified at the bottom with a small incline to at least the first or second rows.
Another part of the handicapped accessibility issue is playgrounds and parks. I have five grandchildren who I would like to take to a playground. The one at the library and the parks such as Riverside or Patriots are inaccessible for the handicapped also.
I encourage thought and better planning when projects are undertaken. ... All of this being said, I still support of the referendum. ...
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