In the June 2010 issue of "Endless Opportunities," Columbia County Commission Chairman Ron Cross lists 14 voter-approved SPLOST or bond projects budgeted at $29,750,994. The actual bids amounted to $20,995,694, which is a very large under-run of $8,755,300, or 29.4 percent.
Cross stated this $8,755,300 will be spent on other capital projects under consideration by the Columbia County Board of Commissioners with no voter approval required.
During my 43-year business career, I was involved in engineering, planning, maintenance and construction. As a department head of a large corporation, I had annual operating budgets of around $500 million and annual capital budgets of around $500 million. In the business world, if you had an under run of 29.4 percent in your capital projects, you could expect a termination from your position for your incompetence.
Under the leadership of Cross during the past eight years, the county debt has increased from $28 million to more than $110 million.
In fairness to Columbia County property owners and voters, this large $8,755,300 capital budget under-run should not be put into a political pot as proposed for the use of the Columbia County Commission, but should be used to pay down the high existing county debt.
Hubert L. Rose
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