Commissioners honor Norwood

Valerie Rowell/Staff
Columbia County Commission Chairman Ron Cross holds a sign for the newly named Norwood Drive, which is situated along one side of the county's courthouse in Evans.

U.S. Rep. Charlie Norwood's name will appear in Columbia County near a road that bears the moniker of another well-known Republican - Ronald Reagan.


The Columbia County Commission met Monday to announce the naming of an open courtyard in front of the county courthouse in Evans in honor of Mr. Norwood, who returned to his Augusta home Wednesday to begin hospice care.

The courtyard, which will be known as Norwood Freedom Plaza, is off Ronald Reagan Drive. A road to the side of the justice center will be named Norwood Drive.

"We think that's very appropriate for what he has meant to this county," commission Chairman Ron Cross said.

Mr. Cross said a committee being established to look at possibilities for county-owned property behind the Kroger in Evans also could consider naming that land after Mr. Norwood. Currently, the area is referred to as the Evans Town Center Park.

Mr. Norwood returned home after forgoing further treatment for lung cancer that has spread to his liver. The 65-year-old, seven-term Republican congressman continues to receive 24-hour nursing care at home.

John Stone, a spokesman for Mr. Norwood, said Monday that the action honoring the congressman is the first he has heard of by a government entity.

"He and the family are very honored by the extension of kindness, and it's something that I know he will appreciate,'' Mr. Stone said.

Reach Preston Sparks at (706) 868-1222, ext. 115, or


In other action Monday, members of the Columbia County Commission:

- Agreed in a committee meeting to revisit the idea of an arena in the county, forwarding a proposal to fund an arena feasibility study, not to exceed $75,000. The commission will take a final vote on the proposal at its next board meeting Feb. 20 at the Evans Government Center. If funds are approved then, the commission will be asked later to approve a consultant for the work.

- Agreed in a committee meeting to a proposal for a master plan study of the Lewiston Road area at Interstate 20. The study, which can't exceed $100,000, would examine about 1,800 acres and what the proper development would be for that area. It would also examine whether some of acreage would be prime for an arena. The proposal also must go to the Feb. 20 meeting for approval.