Columbia County Commision approves new library district

The Columbia County Com­mis­sion agreed to move forward Tues­day on forming a library network with Lin­coln and Warren counties, ending its association with the
system based in Au­gus­ta.

The commission approved official notification of separation from the East Central Georgia Regional Library System. The proposal requires official notification be delivered to the Georgia Public Library System by Dec. 31, but county Leisure Services Director Barry Smith said it could be made as early as next week.

The new library system would use the Evans library as its hub and begin operation next summer. Forming a new library system will mean additional funding and state-funded library positions for Co­lumbia, Warren and Lincoln counties.

The commission also approved a proposal for a week of events to be presented by a group of companies during Masters Week.

The events – an expansion on the Par Tee @ the Park staged last year during the Masters Tournament – would be produced by event and marketing agencies the Savor Society, Sports 1 Marketing and BaAM productions and feature both free and ticketed events.

Columbia County would donate the use of the Evans Towne Center Park and Lady Antebellum Pavilion and pay as much as $8,000 in setup and cleaning expenses.

“I think this is just a wonderful way to showcase Columbia County and the park,” Commissioner Charles Allen said.

The companies have staged high-profile events such as Major League Base­ball and NHL Fanfests, the Ultra Music Festival in Miami and a variety of functions at major sporting events such as the Super Bowl and Fiesta Bowl.

Some attending the meeting ended up waiting to speak out about a bus facility that isn’t coming. Al Harris, who had asked to have a large parcel of land near Pumpkin Center rezoned as general industrial to build a motor coach office and maintenance yard, withdrew his request and wasn’t present at the meeting.

The Columbia County Tax Com­missioner’s Office presented its annual report to the commission. The total amount of taxes collected were $99,560,919 from property and streetlight taxes and $9,753,732 from motor vehicle taxes. The report indicated continued county growth, with 1,093 residential and 80 commercial permits issued in 2011.

Columbia County library wants break from region

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