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Columbia County Commission approves spending on 'finishing touches' for Evans Town Center Park

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The Columbia County Commission voted 4-1 Tuesday to spend $116,000 on “finishing touches” for Evans Town Center Park.

Much of that money, $56,000, was allocated for a double-sided LED sign at the park on Evans Town Center Boulevard. Commissioners also approved spending $15,000 on dedication plaques, $4,000 on light pole banners, $19,000 to replace pine straw with hardwood mulch, and $22,500 to improve communication and power equipment.

The money for the improvements is coming from interest accumulated in the 2006-10 1-percent sales tax fund.

Commissioner Ron Thigpen referred to the work as “finishing touches” for a park he said the community will be proud to visit. Commissioner Bill Morris voted against the expenditures.

Officials expect work on the about $5 million park to conclude next month and have organized a grand-opening celebration on Oct. 28 featuring an acoustic performance by five-time Grammy-winning country group Lady Antebellum. A 5,000-seat amphitheater at the park was named for the band, which includes two members – Charles Kelley and Dave Haywood – from Columbia County.

The park also has picnic pavilions, a large gazebo, a splash pad and a dog park.

Tickets for the concert go on sale Oct. 1 at the Columbia County Library for $40 each with a four-ticket limit per customer.

Also at the meeting, the commission tabled a vote on a revision to a planned unit development on North Old Belair Road.

Developers want to remove a 21-acre parcel from the Crawford Creek neighborhood plan to form the Amy Glenn subdivision, consisting of 62 homes.

Surrounding homeowners have complained about the Amy Glenn project since it initially would only have been accessible from Wendover Way through other neighborhoods. They said it would generate too much traffic and worried about construction vehicles.

Developers said they would limit construction vehicles to a dirt road access onto the property from North Old Belair Road.

Still, the developers asked the commission for more time to consider other options for providing access to the area.

The commission agreed to hear the updated proposal at its Oct. 18 meeting. The commission also voted to table the planned unit development revision in August because of the issue of limited street access.

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fd1962
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fd1962 09/21/11 - 09:14 am
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Wonder what percentage of
Unpublished

Wonder what percentage of that former lovely open space has now been successfully 'improved' (obliterated) by cement, asphalt, parking lots, structures, signs, and, of course, $15K (!) of dedication plaques? I'm sure a $56K electronic LED sign will bring them flocking in from Leah, Winfield, Appling, Harlem, and Grovetown too. Maybe even Pumpkin Center.

fd1962
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fd1962 09/21/11 - 09:20 am
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Oh yeah, I'll bet they manage
Unpublished

Oh yeah, I'll bet they manage to remove Scott Dean's name from the legendary plaques too.

Little Lamb
46022
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Little Lamb 09/21/11 - 09:27 am
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fd1962 posted: I'm sure a

fd1962 posted:

I'm sure a $56K electronic LED sign will bring them flocking in from Leah, Winfield, Appling, Harlem, and Grovetown too. Maybe even Pumpkin Center.

Don't forget Lamkin.

fd1962
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fd1962 09/21/11 - 09:54 am
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The jewel of Lamkin, by all
Unpublished

The jewel of Lamkin, by all means. And I agonized over including greater Dearing too. lol

paperwren
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paperwren 09/21/11 - 10:34 am
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The park looks great. This is

The park looks great. This is one of the only places I've lived that seems to really get it about what makes an area a nice place to live. Everywhere else seems to waste their valuable land by selling out to developers who just build strip malls that become rundown and outdated quickly. Investing money upfront on nice public parks, walking trails, and a nice outdoor venue will serve our county well and give us all an incentive to go outside and spend time with our families. I hope they continue to make decisions that will raise our property values.

What are they doing with the land adjacent to the park that was initially supposed to be a "downtown" type area? I'm afraid it will fill up with chain restaurants and office space if a developer doesn't see its potential. With it at walking distance from the library and park, it could be a great location for local shops, restaurants, and recreation (especially if they made it well lit and nice for people going out in the evenings).

freebird
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freebird 09/21/11 - 11:03 am
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$19,000 for mulch.....?????

$19,000 for mulch.....????? what the??

Little Lamb
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Little Lamb 09/21/11 - 11:20 am
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I hope they are getting the

I hope they are getting the mulch in bulk from some of our local mulching operations. In fact, there is one just south of Pollard's Corner on Washington Rd. in Columbia County.

I hope they are not shipping in the mulch from the cypress swamps of Lousiana and Mississippi. Those forests are being harvested for mulch in an unsustainable manner.

Chillen
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Chillen 09/21/11 - 12:21 pm
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$56,000 for a stinking sign!

$56,000 for a stinking sign! What the heck?! I guess they think our money grows on trees. Boy, it sure is easy to spend someone else's money isn't it government people?

Even our local government is out of control. Heaven help the USA.

fd1962
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fd1962 09/21/11 - 01:44 pm
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$56K for that sign is about
Unpublished

$56K for that sign is about right, Chillen. What they didn't mention is the $8K - $10K maintenance a year it will cost to keep it flashing - every year. Just more 'finishing touches' to enhance your quality of life...

augusta citizen
9351
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augusta citizen 09/21/11 - 06:03 pm
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Haha Chillen, so true, when I

Haha Chillen, so true, when I read this I thought I was back in Richmond County again. Columbia County officials need to realize why their population has grown so much. Much of it was folks being tired of the way Richmond County wasted taxpayer dollars.

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