The Columbia County Commission tackled some major issues during a Tuesday meeting, but pushed back other decisions.
Commissioner's approved a $56.7 million budget based on an 8-percent growth rate in the county's tax digest. Though the budget represents an almost 5-percent increase over the current fiscal year, it did not require a millage increase on property taxes. Instead, the extra funding will come from charges for county services and property reassessments.
- A decision on changing the plans for The Village at Furys Ferry was tabled by commissioners.
Blanchard and Calhoun Commercial, developers for the project located between Blackstone Camp and Evans to Locks roads, asked the board to table the motion and let them take it back to the county's planning commission on June 19 with unspecified changes.
Developers had wanted to downsize it from 14 to about 12 acres. However, the owner of the two acres meant to be omitted from the project, Jimmie Powell, objected to a plan to revert the zoning of his property back to residential. Such a reversion would greatly devalue his property, he said. On Tuesday, the commission upheld his rejection and denied the rezoning.
- Commissioners finalized an agreement with the Georgia State Patrol to build the law enforcement agency a new post near Grovetown. The board voted in February to spend as much as $2 million for the new post on Chamblin Road to replace the state patrol location in Thomson. The 10,500-square-foot facility will be built on about four acres near the Interstate 20 and Lewiston Road interchange.
- To help control the county's pet population, the commission agreed to let animal control officials examine a plan for a spay/neuter voucher program. Officials had planned to set a new adoption fee of $50 for nonspayed and nonneutered animals. Officials discovered that the cost for spaying and neutering varies too much to adopt a singular fee. They asked commissioners for more time to develop a more comprehensive plan.
- Commissioners approved a new policy allowing some county property owners the right to maintain rights of way abutting their land. Anyone wishing to do so will need to apply for a permit through the county's Roads and Bridges Department. Call (706) 541-1143.
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