Monthly Archives: September 2017

Pat Goodwin CEO, CSRA Wine Festival Inc.

People

CEO, CSRA Wine Festival Inc.Number of years in position: 12

Family: Daughter and two grandchildren

Why I’m Passionate About What I Do: We chose to reside in Columbia County, relocating back to Georgia from Birmingham, Alabama. I became involved in the area as I attended Leadership Augusta, Class of 2001. I learned a lot about our entire community, and I’ve met some wonderful people living here. A friend, who knew I enjoy food and wine, shared details about a culinary event held at Hilton Head Island. I attended the event and was convinced that we needed to have a food and wine event here. I felt that if I could create an event it would accomplish two things.

First, the event could raise funds and give back to a nonprofit organization or entity. Second, it could bring diverse people together for a common cause. That was my focus as I began developing the wine festival event in a volunteer role. As the event has grown, this has allowed us to provide funds to the Culinary Endowment Scholarship at Augusta Technical College. Looking forward, I want to see the event grow and have more educational components. I also want to invite local top chefs to be a part of this process.

Community Groups and Charities I Love to Support: It’s important we contribute to making our communities better. Through the CSRA Wine Festival, we have given back to the American Cancer Society, CSRA Humane Society, the arts and primarily, the Culinary Endowment at Augusta Technical College. We added Easter Seals to the event this year, and we’re happy to help this wonderful group to continue and support its mission.

Both causes help support individuals who are productive and are a contributing component to the economic impact in our area. If you haven’t toured the Easter Seals facility, make a call and do so. If you haven’t observed or attended an event at Augusta Technical College conducted by the culinary class, you are missing out on a wonderful treat.

I also have been a volunteer on Leadership Augusta and Leadership Columbia County, assisting the Columbia County Chamber of Commerce in developing its first leadership program. I am passionate about economic development, and I was honored to serve on the Development Authority of Columbia County as chair of the Columbia County Convention and Visitors Bureau for several terms. I also have served the Augusta Chamber of Commerce, volunteering with the Red Carpet Tour, and as chair of the Capital Campaign Planning Committee and as chair of Ronald McDonald House Charities of Augusta. Currently, I am serving as secretary of the Columbia County Chamber and as a member of the Government Affairs Committee.

Biggest Career or Life Obstacle I’ve Overcome and How: It’s always a challenge to be able to change and adapt at any given time, and to stay calm and think through the what if’s. With the wine festival, I shared the concept with a local distributor, who laughed and told me I would never be able to make it happen. We both laugh about it now. I admit, I doubted myself at first. But as I did my research, I found that there were many obstacles and old laws on the books in Georgia. As a project manager, this helped pave the way to communicating with people and learning what I could and couldn’t do legally

Accomplishment I’m Most Proud Of: Always learning from each life experience and involving others. I previously worked at Southern Company for 29 years and at the Medical College of Georgia for 13 years, and I’m thankful I have been allowed to hire employees that have great potential and watch them grow. Today, I am appreciative of helping mentor younger leaders to become more involved and to give back to their communities.

What Your Childhood Self Wanted to Be When You Grew Up: An airline stewardess

Favorite Way to Spend Saturday Afternoon: I have worked as a Realtor at Blanchard & Calhoun Real Estate Company for four years, and I love conducting open houses and meeting people.

Favorite TV Show: I’m a Food Network and HGTV junkie.

Favorite Movie:Sleepless in Seattle

Favorite Sports Team: Atlanta Falcons – whether they win or lose

Favorite Comfort Food: Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream

Favorite App: Intuit Quickbooks Mobile for my iPhone

Last Book Read:The Go-Giver by Bob Burg and John David Mann

Dream Vacation: I would love to go on a California wine tour. It’s just an experience I’ve always wanted to do, so I’m adding it to my bucket list.

Something That Has Changed My Life: My faith, children and best friend.

Best Thing I Ever Learned: Have faith in people and in yourself. There are strengths and positives in each person, and you need to know them first to help guide and mentor them where they can be successful. In other words, “Don’t judge a book by its cover.”

One Word You Would Use to Describe Yourself: Persistent

Favorite Hobbies: Traveling

Secret Aspiration: To become a food writer or critic in my spare time

Reality Show I Would Totally Win: “Wheel of Fortune” 

Something People Would Be Surprised to Know About Me: I knew nothing about planning a wine festival, and before I started doing that, I only knew there were two types of wine – red or white.

Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Light the Night

Community Groups in Action

LighttheNightAugustaWalk252A cancer diagnosis for an individual or a loved one can be one of a person’s darkest hours. With Light the Night, however, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society brings hope to those who are battling blood cancers.

This year, the area Light the Night will be held Saturday, October 21 at Evans Towne Center Park. Registration begins at 5 p.m., and the walk begins at 7:30 p.m. The event will conclude with a fireworks display about 8:30 p.m.

“It will be more of an event now than an actual walk,” says Marci Miller, Light the Night campaign manager for the local Leukemia & Lymphoma Society chapter. “We will have a variety of family friendly activities. During part of the ceremony, we will have a survivors’ circle where survivors come to a certain spot and a light will shine through the middle of the group to make it more of an experience.”

Lanterns of different colors will be distributed to participants as well. Survivors will receive white lanterns; supporters will carry red lanterns; those who have lost someone to cancer will have gold lanterns. 

“The different colors of lanterns lit up really provide a dramatic perspective on just how widespread cancer is as well as how it can be overcome as a result of the great research that organizations like the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society make possible,” says Phil Alexander, CallingPost founder.

LighttheNightAugustaWalk235Currently, 75 teams have registered for the event, and the fundraising goal is $280,000. Proceeds from the event go to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

“We are a national organization with a local presence,” Miller says. “Our chapter provides co-pay assistance for local residents and education for people when they initially are diagnosed.”

The mission of LLS is to cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma and to improve quality of life for patients and their families. Because there are no means of prevention or early screening for most blood cancers, the LLS research agenda focuses on finding cures.

For more information, visit lightthenight.org.

On the Homefront

What's New 2017

what's newAccording to Strickland, community members have indicated that they want to limit residential development in the county. 

“The county will limit growth in the William Few and Appling areas. We will preserve rural areas in the county to provide two different lifestyles for folks,” he says. “Some want quick access to areas, and others want a rural lifestyle.

Nevertheless, near the Pumpkin Center area of Appling Harlem Road, a new residential development called Greenpoint eventually could have 600 homes. “It will be six to eight months before construction gets underway,” says Strickland. 

Existing neighborhoods also continue to grow. For instance, Riverwood Plantation is expanding with new sections in Mitchell Park and on Franklin Ridge. More new homes also are being built in neighborhoods such as Canterbury Farms in Grovetown and Whispering Pines off of William Few Parkway. Jones Ferry off of Furys Ferry Road is almost complete as well.

Property on Hardy-McManus has been rezoned for residential use. “We’ll start to see a couple of neighborhoods be constructed in the next year,” says Strickland. 

In Grovetown, Euchee Lake on Harlem-Grovetown Road will feature 53 single-family homes upon completion. Across from Euchee Lake, the site has been cleared for Caroleton, a neighborhood of 106 single-family dwellings, and sewer lines are being extended west from Grove Landing, which just added 45 more homes, for the new neighborhood as well. 

Two new residential areas in varying stages of construction are being built on former mobile home sites in Grovetown. Ground has been broken at George and Bennett streets for the construction of Highland Hills, a 10-building, 80-unit apartment complex. Joiner Crossing, which includes 83 townhomes off of Katherine Street, should be completed this year. 

Construction on Grovetown Crossing, which features 40 townhomes on Dodge Lane, also should finish this year.

In addition, construction has started on the first phase of Brighton Landing at Wrightsboro Road and Horizon South Parkway in a newly annexed portion of Grovetown. This phase features 73 single-family homes, and Waller says the second phase could include townhomes. He says construction on this neighborhood could continue through 2024. 

A bridge across Euchee Creek, which connects phases I and II of Deer Hollow, has been finished as well. “The bridge allows us to go from phase to phase without having to get back on Wrightsboro Road,” says Waller. 

According to Waller, the city also is reviewing plans for McCoy’s Creek, a Richmond County neighborhood that extends into the Grovetown city limits.

Harlem has approved three new neighborhoods – West Forrest, Hickory Woods and Cornerstone Phase III – this year.

“Harlem is the last area in Columbia County that is undeveloped,” says Cook. “People want to live in Columbia County because of the schools. The X factor for everything is that Fort Gordon’s new gate will be in Harlem. The key for us is to focus on transportation and traffic.” 

Roads have been built in West Forrest, and home construction is expected to begin this fall. The neighborhood will have 60 to 70 homes. Construction at Hickory Woods, which will have about 150 homes, will begin in the winter or early spring. Cornerstone will feature about 150 homes as well.

Another residential construction project, Hardy Station, is expected to break ground in the spring off of Harlem-Grovetown Road. Plans also are underway for an 88-unit townhome community, which has not yet been named.

In addition, Cook says, “We’re seeing buildout in all of our existing subdivisions.”

Opening Up Shop

What's New 2017

what's newStrickland expects commercial development in the county to continue at a rapid pace through 2019.

“It improves the quality of life for our residents when we have retail and services in our community,” Strickland says. “It supports our traffic infrastructure when folks don’t have to drive too far to get services.”

The first phase of construction is underway at The Plaza at Evans Towne Center, which is designed to be a walkable, multi-use downtown area in the heart of Columbia County. The first phase of the project, a public-private venture between the county and Meybohm Development Group, includes the Meybohm building, greenspace, streetscape and sidewalks. In addition to housing Meybohm headquarters, the four-story building will include restaurant, retail and professional space as well as a rooftop terrace. According to Strickland, the goal is to complete the first phase before Masters Week 2018. 

Upon completion of the entire project, the 22-acre site will include about 60,000 square feet of professional space and almost 75,000 square feet of retail space.

More retail options are heading to Columbia County as well. Belk is expected to open in Mullins Crossing II this month, and Madison’s Closet is coming to Riverwood Town Center. Retail and professional space also is under construction at the corner of Halali Farm and Washington roads.

Southeastern, an Augusta-based real estate and commercial brokerage firm that serves seven states throughout the Southeast, held a ribbon cutting ceremony for a new office in Evans in June. A new Anytime Fitness location opened in September in the Riverwood area, and Christian Brothers Automotive has a new location on Washington Road next to Sherwin-Williams.

Some local businesses with familiar names have moved to new locations. Mish Mash relocated from Washington Road to Grand Slam Drive in Evans in August, and Studio 285 hair salon and Tiffinie Bleu Bridal Boutique have moved from Grand Slam Drive to the nearby Carraway Crossing. Maras, a new clothing boutique, was slated to open in Carraway Crossing this fall.

Residents who want to pamper their pets can take their dogs and cats to the new Boarding and Grooming at Ivy Falls or Garden City Pet, a pet supply store in the Centre at Furys Ferry in Martinez. People who want to pamper themselves can visit The Blush & Glow Studio, a new airbrush and sunless tanning service business, which also is in the Centre at Furys Ferry. 

In Grovetown a new Family Dollar store has opened in the Shops at Summerfield on Robinson Avenue, and an Ace Hardware opened on Wrightsboro Road in late 2016. A new self-storage facility, also on Robinson Avenue, should open by the end of the year. 

The way that the city conducts business for its residents is changing as well. In August the city of Grovetown broke ground on its new $23 million wastewater treatment plant – the second phase of the four-phase project. Currently, Waller says, “We send two-thirds of our wastewater to Columbia and Richmond counties to be treated.” 

The first phase – the construction of the headworks facility – started in May. The third and fourth phases, which include the sewer system, piping and forced main, should get underway in mid- to late 2018. “In the spring of 2019, the plant will be fully operational,” says Waller. 

Renovations to Grovetown’s Department of Public Safety on East Robinson Avenue also were completed in August. The project included four new bays for the fire department next door. “All of our police officers are in station 1 now. It is a combination police department and fire station,” Waller says. “In the past our police officers were at station 1 and at the public safety annex.” 

Court and probation services remain at the annex two blocks away on Robinson Avenue. “We’re thinking of other uses we can come up with for the annex,” says Waller.

Waller also is involved with the CSRA Regional Commission’s land use survey for Fort Gordon. “The intent is to make sure the operations of the post don’t have an adverse effect on neighboring communities and the operations of neighboring communities don’t have an adverse effect on the post,” he says. “We have to balance the needs of the post with the needs of the community.” 

To keep community operations from interfering with Fort Gordon activities, says Waller, the commission could recommend that neighboring municipalities adopt new ordinances pertaining to issues such as noise, lights and cell tower locations. 

“Fort Gordon is a big draw to Grovetown right now,” Waller says. “It is bringing soldiers, contractors and their families to the area. People want to live close to the post, so we can expect continued residential growth.” 

The closure of Gate 2 to Fort Gordon (which still could be used for special events) across from Robinson Avenue and installation of a new gate at the intersection of Parham Road and Gordon Highway in 2019 is expected to move traffic further west. “There will be less traffic on Robinson Avenue, but Harlem probably will see an increase in traffic,” says Waller.

Medical Alert

What's New 2017

what's newThe medical community continues to expand in Columbia County as well. Savannah River Dermatology opened its new office on Furys Ferry Road earlier this year. The dermatology practice occupies the bulk of the 12,000-square-foot facility, and the building also includes 2,500 square feet of leasable space.

In May Myers Family Dental moved into a new building on one side of the dermatology practice, and on the other side site work is underway for Augusta Plastic Surgery, which will relocate to Columbia County from University Hospital. The physicians hope to start seeing patients at their new location in the summer of 2018.

Two assisted living facilities also are coming to Furys Ferry Road. Construction has started on The Claiborne of West Lake, a 100-unit, resort-style senior living facility. The county is working on site plan approval for Indigo Hall, which will be located between Westhampton and Brookfield subdivisions. In Martinez Orbic Eye Care opened in the Centre at Furys Ferry in July. 

Medical facilities are being constructed in other parts of the county as well. Augusta SmileCare, recently moved into a new building on Columbia Road, which is about a mile from its previous location. An Aspen Dental office is under construction on the former Evans Diner site, and a new MedNow is slated to open soon in the Gateway area. 

Summerville Dentistry has opened an office in the Riverwood area in Evans, and a University Medical Center Greenbrier Primary Care facility is under construction at Washington and Blanchard roads. 

Doctors Hospital in west Augusta broke ground on a $19.8 million expansion of its emergency department this summer. The expansion, which should take about 14 months to complete, will increase the number of emergency department rooms to 46, including 10 pediatric rooms. The expanded emergency department also will include 16 clinical observation rooms, CT scan imaging technology, an X-ray suite, a new walk-in entrance and a new ambulance entrance.

Eat, Drink and Be Merry

What's New 2017

whats newAll that traveling across Columbia County can cause people to work up an appetite, and those who have been hungry for more restaurants have their plates full.

Papa John’s has opened in the Market Place at Riverwood, a strip center with more than 23,500 square feet of space that is under construction next to Riverwood Town Center. The Flying Biscuit is slated to locate in the shopping center as well. 

The old Evans Diner location also will be the site of Chicken Salad Chick, which is under construction. The diner building was moved to Waynesboro in February, and the owners opened The Flippin’ Egg in the former ShoChin’s Chinese Kitchen building on Washington Road in Evans. Chicken Fingers opened this summer in The Shoppes at Blue Ridge.

In the Grovetown area, Culver’s, which features hamburgers, sandwiches and frozen custard, opened on Gateway Boulevard last winter. The locally owned Diablo’s Southwest Grill, as well as Chick-fil-A and Dairy Queen, have opened locations in the Gateway area as well.

An Aldi grocery store opened its doors in June, and a free-standing Starbucks and McAlister’s Deli also are slated to come to the area. In addition, Your Pie, a pizza restaurant, is scheduled to open on Meridian Drive in November. 

In the past year, a new Sonic Drive-In opened in the city of Grovetown at the corner of Whiskey and Wrightsboro roads, and a Walmart Neighborhood Market opened on Wrightsboro Road in May.

In addition, Pelican’s SnoBalls, which sells shaved ice with gourmet flavors, opened its doors on East Robinson Avenue in March. A new Spirit Food Mart, slated for construction at Robinson Avenue and Harlem-Grovetown Road in 2018, is in the planning and development stages. Java House opened on North Louisville Road in Harlem in December. 

School Days

What's New 2017

whats newThe Columbia County Board of Education did not open any new schools this year, but two existing schools moved into brand new buildings. The $22 million, 47-classroom, 131,091-square-foot Harlem Middle School building opened off of Appling-Harlem Highway in August, and the former middle school building on West Forrest Avenue has been demolished. A new North Harlem Elementary School building will be constructed on that site.

A new Grovetown Elementary School building also opened for the 2017-18 school year. This $19.5 million, two-story building, which was built next to its former site on Ford Avenue, includes 111,328 square feet and 55 classrooms. 

Construction of the School for Arts Infused Learning, however, has brought a new charter school to the county. Phase I was completed on the Blanchard Woods Drive facility in Evans in July. This phase will house grades K-6 this year and seventh grade should be added next year. Phase 2 will house grades 6-8 when it is built. The $7 million school is completely state funded, and its curriculum focuses on science, technology, engineering, art and math. 

Quality of Life

What's New 2017

Quality-of-Life--Harlem-LibraryWhile the school system remains a big draw, it is not the only reason that new residents come to the county. “Columbia County has a great quality of life,” says Strickland. “It’s a great place to live and raise a family.” 

In November, voters approved a $65 million general obligation bond to fund quality of life and public safety improvements, and some of those projects are in varying stages of development.

For instance, the expansion of Patriots Park is in the design phase, and three new parks – The Plaza, Lakeside and Gateway – are in the design phase as well. Construction on the parks is expected to get underway in the first quarter of 2018. 

“We have the same timeline for all of the new parks,” says Matt Schlachter, deputy county administrator. “We have a lot of land clearing to do at Patriots Park. It is the most involved.”

The Patriots Park expansion will include new fields, additional parking spaces, a new entrance off of William Few Parkway and an internal road that connects the areas of the park together.

“The main purpose of The Plaza project will be event parking,” says John Luton, the county Community and Leisure Services Division director. “When it is not being used for event parking, it will be used as open, passive recreation space. It will also include a covered pavilion for a farmers’ market.”

Near Lakeside High School, Lakeside Park will include more fields, tennis courts and walking trails. Although Gateway Park, which will be located across from the exhibition center, will not include a performance venue, it will be similar to Evans Towne Center Park in other respects. 

“Gateway Park will integrate a water feature with a large playground area. It will also include walking tracks, picnic shelters and a dog park,” says Luton.

Phase I of the Euchee Creek Greenway, a series of off-street bikeways, walkways and trails, also is in the design phase. Funding for the design and construction of the first phase is part of the GO bond.

In addition, the county is opening the bid process to expand the parking lot at Savannah Rapids Pavilion. “We will widen and add a couple hundred parking spots to the lot on the left to better service the building there,” Luton says.

Two other parks in the Martinez and Riverwood areas also were part of the GO bond, and Luton says county commissioners are still trying to secure locations for them. He also says the county might incorporate temporary pickleball courts at Patriots Park in the spring. 

In addition, Luton says, “We’re trying to improve our website from a customer usage standpoint to make it easier for people to use when they’re buying event tickets or signing up their children for youth sports.” 

The city of Grovetown held a grand opening for its new dog park at Goodale Park in August. The park, which includes separate areas for large and small dogs, also includes covered seating areas, toys and water areas for dogs. Other improvements to Goodale Park include new parking facilities, a paved road that runs through the entire park and renovated restroom facilities. Next year, Waller says, the park will undergo further improvements such as additional playground equipment, a new splash pad, concession stand renovations and conversion of some of the property into multi-use fields.

In Harlem Sandy Run Creek Trail is in the process of being designed, and Cook says funding will become available in 2019. The trail, which will be just short of a mile, will connect the downtown area with neighborhoods along South Louisville Street. The city also plans to launch infrastructure improvements of $15 million to $20 million next year. 

“Most of what we’re doing is in the planning stage,” says Cook. “There’s a lot of activity in Harlem, but it will be several years before people see anything.” 

He also says that city officials hope to bring other amenities such as recreational facilities and a pharmacy to Harlem. “We need to increase the services in the community so our citizens don’t have to drive so far away,” he says.

The city celebrated the opening of one new amenity in May with a ribbon cutting ceremony for the Harlem branch of Columbia County Library. The $3.25 million, 13,000-square-foot library on North Louisville Street has a collection of 12,000 items including DVDs and audiobooks. The facility also has eight public computers, Wi-Fi and space on the second story for civic gatherings and meetings.

Plans also are underway to build a new library in Grovetown next to City Hall. “When it opens, we will move the Euchee Creek Library operations to the new Grovetown Library and expand the senior center operations,” says Luton.

Currently, the senior center shares a building with Columbia County Community Connections. One of the organizations likely will move into the Euchee Creek Library building, says Luton, and the other will expand its operations in the shared building. 

“Our senior programming is really starting to grow,” Luton says. “We will be able to expand the number of seniors we can take over there.”

Augusta Animal Emergency

Pet Care

Our center is the CSRAs only 24-hour facility dedicated solely to emergency and critical care for your sick or injured pet.  Our highly trained staff provides a comprehensive suite of services to ensure quality care for your animal.  These services include:

  • In-house lab diagnostics  
  • Urine/fecal tests
  • Digital radiography
  • Ultrasound
  • Endoscopy
  • Digital anesthetic monitoring
  • Blood pressure
  • Tonometry
  • Thermal support
  • Oxygen therapy
  • Soft tissue surgery
  • Simple orthopedic procedures

 Our center maintains an extensive inventory of pharmaceutical drugs and items not typically found in general practice veterinary clinics, including: 

  • Antivenin (snake bites)
  • Fresh frozen plasma
  • Antidotes for various toxins including antifreeze (ethylene glycol)
  • Whole blood
  • Feline packed red blood cells

208 Hudson Trace
Augusta, GA 30907

(706) 733-7458

Animal-Emergency_October

Visit Our Website at: www.augustaanimalemergency.com

Care More Animal Hospital

Resource Guide

Care More Animal Hospital is a full-service, AAHA accredited veterinary medical facility, located in Martinez, GA. The professional and courteous staff at Care More Animal Hospital seeks to provide the best possible medical, surgical and dental care for their highly-valued patients. We are committed to promoting responsible pet ownership, preventative health care and health-related educational opportunities for our clients.

Care More Animal Hospital strives to offer excellence in veterinary care to Augusta, GA and the surrounding areas.

Please take a moment to contact us today, to learn more about our veterinary practice and to find out more information about how Care More Animal Hospital can serve the needs of you and your cherished pet.

4016 Old Blackstone Camp Rd
Martinez, GA 30907
Phone: (706) 650-1839

Or visit our website at caremoreanimalhospital.vetstreet.com

Caremore_PETS

On the Road

What's New 2017

whats newIf it seems as if all roads lead to Columbia County, it might seem as if all of them are under some type of construction as well. Not quite, but road improvements on major thoroughfares are ongoing.

“At some point everybody gets orange barrel fatigue from road construction,” says Strickland. “We at least have the opportunity to make these road improvements. When we look back in 10 years, we’ll be grateful we made these improvements when we did.”

The project to widen Washington Road from Gibbs Road to William Few Parkway continues, and it is expected to be complete in late 2017 or early 2018. Upon completion, the road will have two travel lanes in each direction and a center turn lane. Right turn lanes will be included at some locations as well. Strickland also says the county has released requests for proposals to make improvements to Evans Town Center Boulevard. 

A number of other projects, which are locally administered by Columbia County and funded through the state Transportation Investment Act that was approved by Central Savannah River Area voters in 2012, are continuing as well. The extension and realignment of River Watch Parkway from Baston Road to Washington Road in Evans is nearing completion, and improvements are about to begin on Lewiston Road. 

This project will include widening Lewiston Road from two to four lanes north of Interstate 20 to Columbia Road. The project also will include a median with varying locations of turn lanes as well as pedestrian and bicycle accommodations throughout the corridor.

Two Grovetown road improvement projects, which also received TIA funding, are almost complete. The Wrightsboro Road project should be finished this month or in November, Waller says. The $3 million improvements to Wrightsboro Road include repaving as well as installing curbs and gutters along the 1.065 miles of the roadway between Robinson Avenue and Horizon South Parkway. 

The project also includes widening and adding turn and stacking lanes at each intersection and the construction of a 10-foot wide, paved multi-use path for pedestrians and cyclists on the north side of Wrightsboro Road connecting to Goodale Park.

The $8 million Robinson Avenue project includes widening the 1.35 miles between Newmantown Road and Bryan Circle to add center turn lanes at intersections as needed and the realignment of the Katherine Street intersection. It also includes a new traffic signal, curbs, gutters and sidewalks on both sides of the road. Additional improvements include lighting and other amenities in the downtown area to make it more pedestrian friendly. 

“Managing expectations is huge,” Waller says. “Congestion on the roads is among our greatest challenges, and what makes it even more of a challenge is that we don’t control it. Robinson Avenue and Wrightsboro Road are both state roads.”

He also says the city has asked the state for assistance to install a new traffic signal at the intersection of Whiskey and Wrightsboro roads as part of the current construction project. 

From roadway improvements to new businesses, restaurants and amenities, the landscape in Columbia County is ever changing.

 

“It’s an exciting time to be here,” says Strickland. “There’s a lot on the horizon.”

 

 

By Leigh Howard