Who is the County's independent auditor and how can I obtain a copy of the audit report?
The county's independent auditor is Mauldin & Jenkins. The complete auditor's opinion letter is included in the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report located on this website.
What is Columbia County's Millage Rate and how is it established?
The millage rate is established annually by the Board of Education and the Board of Commissioners and is applied to the assessed values of properties as of January 1 of that year. The millage rate for fire services applies to special districts within the unincorporated areas only. The Board of Education accounts for approximately 67% of the total millage rate in the incorporated areas and 62% of the total millage rate in the unincorporated areas.
The millage rate for calendar year 2010 is 26.727 in the unincorporated areas, 25.012 in the incorporated areas and is broken down as follows:
Cty Tax 6.402 Cty Bond 1.27 Fire 1.715
School Tax 17.09 School Bond 0.00 State Tax 0.25
What is the County's annual budget and how can I obtain a copy of it?
The adopted General Fund budget for fiscal year ending June 30, 2011, is $54,123.958. A complete copy of the budget can be obtained from the Finance Office and a summary of the budget is located on this website.
What is the County's bond rating and who determines this rating?
In August 2010, the Government prepared comprehensive presentations for Fitch IBCA, Standard and Poor's, and Moody's Investor Service rating agencies in an effort to upgrade the current uninsured ratings applied to the Government's general obligation bonds and water and sewerage revenue bonds in anticipation of issuing approximately $60 million in water and sewerage revenue bonds. The Government received an upgrade from Fitch to AAA from AA and an upgrade from Moody's Investor Services to Aa1 from Aa2 and maintains a rating of AA+ from Standard and Poor's for the general obligation debt. The Government received upgrades from all three rating agencies for the water and sewerage debt. Standard and Poor's upgraded from AA to AA+, Fitch upgraded from AA- to AA+, and Moody's Investor Services upgraded from Aa3 to Aa2. These bond ratings are clear indications of the sound financial condition of the Government. These high ratings are a primary factor in keeping interest costs low on the Government's outstanding debt.
What are contingency funds?
This reserve shall be appropriated annually as part of the budget by fund and shall be used for paying unexpected or unanticipated expenditures of an operational nature during the fiscal year. This reserve should approximate one to two percent of the fund budget.
What is the difference between the incorporated and unincorporated areas of the County?
The incorporated areas of the county are made up of the two cities, Grovetown and Harlem. Each city is governed by a Mayor and a City Council elected by their citizens. The remainder of the county is unincorporated and is governed by the Board of Commissioners consisting of a county-wide elected Chairman and four Commissioners elected from each of the four districts of the County. Grovetown and Harlem are located within district 4.
Chairman Ron C. Cross County-wide
Commissioner Ron Thigpen District 1
Commissioner Trey Allen District 2
Commissioner Charles Allen District 3
Commissioner Vacant District 4
Who do I contact to redeem a Columbia County bond? (example: 1984 Water & Sewer bond that matured in 1990)
Any questions concerning redemption of Columbia County bonds should be directed to the Paying Agent for that particular bond issue. In most cases, the Paying Agent for current outstanding bond issues is US Bank. US Bank has a toll-free number that bond holders can call for information regarding their bond certificates, 1-800-888-4700.
What is Columbia County's operating reserve?
An operating reserve shall be established in the General Fund and each Enterprise Fund to provide for operating contingencies in either revenues or expenditures, and to provide adequate funds to operate without short-term borrowing. This reserve, which should provide funds for 75 to 100 days of operations, may be used as required by authority of the Board. To determine the current funding level, divide the current operating reserve by the result obtained from dividing the annual fund budget by 365 days.
How do I apply for a vacancy with Columbia County?
Applications for employment must be submitted online. We do not accept faxed or emailed applications. To apply online visit the website at www.columbiacountyga.gov, then click on County Jobs. Applications are active for two (2) years.
A resume may be attached to an application but cannot be submitted in lieu of a completed online application form.
When will I be contacted?
Staff will contact those who will be interviewed for a position.
Individuals not being considered for an interview will not be contacted.
What types of benefits does Columbia County offer?
Bi-weekly Pay with Direct Deposit Option
Eleven (11) Holidays per Year
Personal Time Off
401 (a) Retirement and 457 Deferred Compensation Option
Employee Assistance Program
Insurance (e.g., Health, Dental, Life, and Supplemental)
Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA)
Education Reimbursement Program
Where can I find Columbia County Government Job Vacancy information?
Human Resources Application Station, Evans Government Center, 630 Ronald Reagan Drive, Building B, 2nd Floor, Evans, Georgia
Job Line at 706-312-9675 (WORK)
Augusta Chronicle, Sunday Edition
Will additions or renovations increase the value of my property?
In most cases when renovation takes place, additions are made or other improvements are added to the property, the value will increase. However, the cost in dollars of adding an item is not always equal to the value that the item contributes to the total property value. Upon receipt of your assessment notice, you may notice a larger or smaller increase in valuation than the actual cost of the construction. An increase in valuation can be due to variables other than new improvements to the property. It depends upon location, market demand and quality of construction. Cost is not always the same as value.
What department is in charge of spraying for mosquitoes?
The County does not currently have a program to spray for mosquitoes.
How can I tell the difference between a sewer and a storm drain?
A sewer (top) is usually located in the middle of the road and has no type of drainage from the road whereas a storm drain is usually located at the curb and water is able to drain into it. A storm drain can also be located at the back of property.
Who is responsible for the mowing of right-of-way in the County?
Our mowing is contracted out. The contractor has a route to follow which is provided to him by the County. There are three cycles of mowing each year - April, July, and September. If there is a problem with the contractor's work, then please contact our office and we will have the contractor get in touch with you.
Our street light is out or is obstructed by tree limbs. Who do I call?
Contact Engineering (706) 868-3424
Who should I contact to discuss traffic signing on our street?
To request new or additional signage contact Traffic Engineering at (706)868-4223. To request a replacement for a damaged or missing sign contact Roads & Bridges at (706)541-1143.
What if I have objections about a bid?
The Board reserves the right to reject any or all proposals. Any objections to the specifications/requirements as set forth should be filed in writing prior to the proposal deadline. Please contact the Procurement Department with your concerns at (706) 868-3305.
Where can I obtain Specifications/Requirements for a BID/RFP?
Columbia County offers the availability to access a tool that adminstrates all Bids and RFPs by choosing the following link: http://bid.columbiacountyga.gov. There is no charge for this service.
A tree fell across the stream behind my house. The stream also has a lot of trash and weeds in it and needs to be cleaned out. Who is in charge?
If a tree falls across a stream and obstructs the flow of water, we will come out and remove the tree. However, if the water is flowing properly, we do not remove trash & weeds. We do no "beautification" in streams or on easements.
I need to have a driveway installed. What is the procedure to do so?
Mark the location you plan to install the driveway with wooden stakes. A supervisor will come out and determine the size driveway pipe that needs to be installed. The County will dig out the ditch for the pipe, but it is the citizen's responsibility to purchase the pipe, install it, and cover it up.
Which roads are not maintained by the County?
The County does not maintain any privately-owned roads (or driveways) or the following state-maintained roads:
Belair Road (Hwy 383 - from Washington Road to Wrightsboro Road)
Bobby Jones (Hwy 520)
Cobbham Road (Hwy 150)
Columbia Road (Hwy 232)
Fury's Ferry Road (Hwy 28)
Gordon Hwy (Hwy 78)
Lewiston Road (Hwy 388 - from Columbia to Wrightsboro Road)
Scott's Ferry Road (Hwy 221)
Washington Road (Hwy. 104)
Wrightsboro Road (Hwy 223 - from Grovetown to Thompson)
What is the procedure for reporting damage to a vehicle caused by rocks or other objects coming from a county vehicle?
Stop immediately and call the Sheriff's Office (706)541-2800 and have an incident report written up. The time of the incident, the address at which it occurred and the County truck number involved needs to be given to the officer. After all paper work has been completed, contact the Risk Management office (706)868-3363 with an incident report number.
What is the money spent on?
Initiate greenspace initiatives along stream banks in developing areas of the County
Promote flood plain management and pollution prevention programs
Utilize computer modeling techniques to analyze and project stormwater runoff impacts
Construct drainage improvement projects to reduce stormwater runoff problems
Perform watershed assessments to monitor chemical and biological health of streams and implement corrective measures, if necessary
How is the Service Fee Calculated?
Columbia County's stormwater service fee will be based on the amount of impervious area on each property. Each 100 square feet of impervious area is billed $0.0875 per month. This amounts to $21 per year for each 2,000 square feet, or about $.01 (one cent) per square foot of impervious area annually. The charges to commercial, industrial, and other properties with large impervious areas will be substantially more than single-family residential properties because they create much more runoff.
Why isn't the fee County-wide?
Stormwater problems are generated by dense population. The owners of developed land in the Stormwater Utility area will provide funds through the Stormwater Utility fee and will receive a substantially higher level of service in return.