Thursday, May 1, 2008


I planned to have a listening session at the library today, but they will be cleaning carpets and doing crafts in the meeting room. So instead, I’ll be on Dickason Boulevard by City Hall. Please stop by and chat if you have a few minutes.

The movie will be back filming in Columbus this week. The new date is Thursday afternoon in the downtown area. Universal Studios encountered a number of problems that caused delays last week, but it seems that weather and actor’s schedules are cooperating again so that they can complete the filming in Columbus. They will be returning to town by the weekend to prepare. Welcome back Johnny Depp!! We received a lot of positive publicity for our city during their time here in March and a tremendous economic boom. It should be fun to see it all happen again.

This week the City Council discussed the 2008 – 10 capital expenditure plan and established funding for several very important projects in our city. We plan to put a new roof on City Hall. This grand old building needs a new roof. It is long overdue and needs our attention. This building has stood as the cornerstone of our downtown area since 1892. It is still a very viable structure and with a new roof will likely stand another 100 years serving the citizens of Columbus. Several years ago the roof was tested and determined to be over stressed, and in need of repairs. This is tricky to fix a roof when business is going on downstairs. City hall offices, the police department, council chambers and the Eastern Columbia County Court use the building. It will be interesting to see how they seal off the upstairs during construction. I’m sure that we’ll get rain as soon as the old roof is removed. It always seems to go that way.

We also put aside money to begin the engineering studies to repair the dam. Some folks may think that those studies were completed years ago, but in actually the studies completed to date just document the damage to the dam. We need to find out how to fix it. The city council approved moving forward with the repair of the dam structure up to a maximum amount of $500,000. This repair will not include dredging or stream bank restoration, but just the restoration of the concrete and gates. We continue to work with FEMA and other government agencies to try to get financial assistance to offset the city’s cost. Work will not commence until we have exhausted all possible funding options.

There is money in the capital improvement plan for streets including Williams street which is long overdue. The City Council has worked hard to prioritize projects, understanding funding options and set an affordable bonding level so that we can accomplish good work without raising taxes. Lots of hours and work have gone into prioritizing projects and determining priorities. Thank you to everyone on the City Council and City administration who helped pull this all together.

Have a wonderful weekend, and see you on the boulevard!