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Transportation sales tax pitched at Columbia County chamber event

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A Columbia County Chamber of Commerce event held Thursday in Grovetown primarily served as a back-patting session for government officials and business executives.

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Columbia County Commission Chairman Ron Cross (from left), School Superintendent Charles Nagle and Executive Director of the Columbia County Convention and Visitors Bureau Beda Johnson were part of the panel for the Columbia County Chamber's State of the Community Address at Liberty Park in Grovetown.  JIM BLAYLOCK/STAFF
JIM BLAYLOCK/STAFF
Columbia County Commission Chairman Ron Cross (from left), School Superintendent Charles Nagle and Executive Director of the Columbia County Convention and Visitors Bureau Beda Johnson were part of the panel for the Columbia County Chamber's State of the Community Address at Liberty Park in Grovetown.

But much of the discussion was devoted to future endeavors.

County Commission Chairman Ron Cross noted that he and other officials are working on a list a transportation projects to take to voters in the July primary or November 2012 general election as part of a 1-percent sales tax referendum.

“I can’t stress how much this is needed for the county and cities. … If we don’t do it, I don’t know the alternative,” said Cross, who chaired a regional delegation to develop projects for the transportation sales tax.

One such project is improving some roads in Grovetown, which Mayor George James told the about 200 people at the State of the Community Address is vital to prepare for the city’s growth.

“We’ve got to pass TSPLOST if we’re going to make real improvements in our city and county,” James said.

In the past four years, he said, 833 homes have been built in Grovetown, and about 200 more are in the planning stages.

Improved roads will help manage the growth and make possible planned improvements to the city’s downtown area, the mayor said.

The city recently hired a special events coordinator to help promote and organize events in the city, especially once planned upgrades are made to Goodale Park and Liberty Park.

Harlem Mayor Bobby Culpepper said his city is planning improvements to its downtown area.

Two fire stations are under construction, and city officials hope soon to build a “railroad depot” to act as a park and event venue.

Cross noted that the county is nearly finished with its Evans Town Center Park featuring the Lady Antebellum Pavilion.

The county has set up an Oct. 28 concert at the park featuring five-time Grammy-winning country group Lady Antebellum, but Cross announced Thursday night that another concert will be held Oct. 22 that will include a dedication ceremony.

Another initiative that should conclude next year is the installation of about 200 miles of fiber optic cables for a countywide broadband network.

Cross said major media groups have approached the county about leasing space to use the network to provide cable television and Internet services.

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DuhJudge
206
Points
DuhJudge 09/22/11 - 10:51 pm
0
0
Get Walmart to pay for your

Get Walmart to pay for your road improvements. Don't you see how taking more money from everybody so that a few can benefit is beginning to sound stupid. Another 1% of my spending on top of all the other 1% taxes I pay? Listen, building a bank of future revenues to continue growing government spending......how can you be serious? Everyday we tell you to cut back and nothing changes. I will never vote for this tax, if ever given the chance to vote for a repeal of the rest of them, I would, and I am not going to change. Stealing....highway robbery.....1% TSPLOST......STOP SPENDING FIRST. We don't need another 200 homes in this county. No one can sell the one they are in. STOP SPENDING.

double_standard
166
Points
double_standard 09/22/11 - 11:34 pm
0
0
I for one will not vote for

I for one will not vote for this trash. Columbia County build your own road the taxpayers built you riverwatch pkwy. I refuse to sponsor another one. Toll Roads into the downtown area Gwinnett County does it with no problem. Bedroom communities must pay their fair share.

scoobynews
3855
Points
scoobynews 09/23/11 - 05:59 am
0
0
Duhjudge you are soooo

Duhjudge you are soooo right!!! 200 more homes means 200 more families with kids that are flooding the system as we speak. There is an uneven proportion of students now in CC schools. Some are busting at the seams while others are like private school populations. The infastructure of Grovetown can't handle any more homes!!

JRC2024
9085
Points
JRC2024 09/23/11 - 09:53 am
0
0
DuhJudge, unless you do not

DuhJudge, unless you do not have a car you ride on the roads also.
Double, This is a tax on purchases made in Columbia County and not Richmond County. It will paid by people who use the roads in Columbia County and shop in Columbia County.
Scooby, Grovetown and the surrounding areas are growing because ot the mission at Fort Gordon or Port Gordon as the navy people say. I wish they were buying more houses in Richmond County because they have good incomes. But I am real happy that the area is growing and bringing in good people.

Little Lamb
46405
Points
Little Lamb 09/23/11 - 10:17 am
0
0
Let us pledge to vote NO! on

Let us pledge to vote NO! on this new tax.

joelee
0
Points
joelee 09/23/11 - 11:22 am
0
0
There is a particular part of

There is a particular part of this T-SPLOST legislation that I take exception to, and am insulted by.
[Our money], from gas tax and other sources, traditionally spent by the DOT for transportation improvements, will no longer be available to the cities and counties in any region that rejects this proposal in the referendum.
Bowing to a threat by voting 'YES" is an excellent way to demonstrate a lack of intestinal fortitude.

Riverman1
84924
Points
Riverman1 09/23/11 - 12:48 pm
0
0
Double Standard, Columbia

Double Standard, Columbia County would try to build a road to downtown Augusta for you, but y'all would just steal the reinforcing bar for scrap metal before the concrete was dry.

LBenedict
2
Points
LBenedict 09/23/11 - 04:01 pm
0
0
How about using county money

How about using county money for county projects? What say you Ron? $37,000,000 for Washington Road, which, BTW is a state responsibility. 37 mill could pave Grovetown very nicely. What happened to the $30,000,000+ GDOT budgeted for Washington Road? Did Bill Kuhlke take it to Richmond County? What about all of the other millions of Columbia County tax dollars being rerouted to state projects? If a forensic accountant ever wanted to make a name for himself...

LBenedict
2
Points
LBenedict 09/23/11 - 04:02 pm
0
0
How about using county money

How about using county money for county projects? What say you Ron? $37,000,000 for Washington Road, which, BTW is a state responsibility. 37 mill could pave Grovetown very nicely. What happened to the $30,000,000+ GDOT budgeted for Washington Road? Did Bill Kuhlke take it to Richmond County? What about all of the other millions of Columbia County tax dollars being rerouted to state projects?

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