Stew Lilker’s

Columbia County Observer

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Columbia County Commission News

County Commission to have own meeting room; Com DuPree balks at infrastructure neglect

COLUMBIA COUNTY, FL – Last night, the Columbia County, County Commission spent millions in taxpayer dollars and is looking to borrow millions more for various projects throughout theCounty. The County Staff backed off from its recent practice of providing power point presentations, which provided clear graphical explanations of expenditures, and instead went back to the practice of a lot of talk, followed by slam dunk votes from the Commissioners.

Had the County Staff provided a pie chart, the public would have clearly seen that the County was finally going to have its own meeting room, as it earmarked $150,000 to renovate the old Hall of Fame building, located 5 miles from the county seat in downtown Lake City.

Not one Commissioner volunteered any information regarding the $150,000 renovation.

Columbia County Urban Planning = Backroom Dealing

This renovation is just another in the chain of Columbia County back room Good ole Boy slam dunk decisions without any input allowed from the citizens footing the tab.

Urban Planning in Columbia County is not in County's vocabulary.

Commissioner DuPree balks at infrastructure neglect

With the County looking to borrow millions for new road construction the fault line in not having at large county commissioners groaned, as only District III Commissioner, Jody DuPree, showed any concern about the nationwide / local problem of infrastructure neglect.

Many of the County's roads are in need of repair and many are deteriorating. There is no list rating and prioritizing the condition of the County's road inventory.

Commissioner DuPree told the County Commission:

If we're gonna spend money, we need to fix the infrastructure that we have. We didn't budget no money durin this year to rehab roads. If you wanna spend $4,000,000 rehabin roads, I'm all about that – before I pave a new street.

Commissioner DuPree told the board that he would have liked to have seen a list prepared by the Director of Public Works and the County Engineer of road priorities. He told the Board, "That is their job."

Commissioner DuPree pointed out that one of the dirt roads the County scheduled for paving was eligible for state funding. He told the Board that he wanted to exhaust state funding for road paving before the county tax payers should pay for it.

Commissioner DuPree also pointed out the board that if you don't maintain the roads, "it costs twice as much later to fix em."

With the other four County Commissioners getting their pet district road projects, his words fell on deaf ears.

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