Columbia County Leaders Talk Growth And Plans For Future - WJBF-TV ABC 6 Augusta-Aiken

Columbia County Leaders Talk Growth And Plans For Future

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Columbia County, GA -

Thursday night, Columbia County residents got a better idea of how the county is doing.

County Administrator Scott Johnson says, "we are in great shape. We are so fortunate in Columbia County for so many reasons. We have those great schools. Our population continues to increase, but our crime rate continues to decrease."

And it's reasons like those that are attracting so many people to the county. Over the last two years, more than 7,000 people moved there. In fact, it was recently named the 45th fasted growing county in the nation.

"And what that means is, developers and retail developers are looking at our community to bring in their new businesses because we have those great growth rates," Columbia County Chamber of Commerce Tammy Shepherd says.

County leaders say they are very proud of what they've accomplished so far this year.

"Certainly the announcement of all the retail we've had, that's always a big thing. We've had some very large retailers announce that they are coming to Columbia County," Johnson says.

One of those retailers is Bass Pro Shops, which will open a store in Columbia County next year. Another major accomplishment is the County Exhibition Center, which is located in Grovetown. Officials say they are starting to focus on retail, however, with all the stores and houses popping up across the county, that means traffic.

"I think as long as we stay in front of the infrastructure, we'll be okay. We are fortunate to have a board of commissioners that is visionary. We've been looking towards the future for many years. We continue to look towards the future. We are planning for the growth that is coming," Johnson says.

But county leaders hope the T-SPLOST projects will help the congestion.

"Eight major corridors. These are the roads that we need now and if we continue at the growth rate, we will desperately need them in the future," Shepherd says.

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