Columbia County moves forward with study on becoming a city

Leaders in Columbia County are looking at the possibility of establishing a city outside of Harlem and Grovetown.
Published: Mar. 22, 2023 at 10:52 AM EDT|Updated: Mar. 22, 2023 at 10:53 AM EDT
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EVANS, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Columbia County is taking a step toward becoming a city.

The Columbia County Commission voted 3-1 Tuesday to approve a study on the matter.

Commissioner Alison Couch was against the proposal.

This vote is one of the initial steps for this change from county to city.

Leaders hope the study will give them a better idea of whether taxes would be lower or higher along with an estimate of revenues from utility franchise fees.

County Manager Scott Johnson says the study will show ways for the government to become more efficient and function at a higher level.

“We’re looking for an efficiency and functionality study. It has to do with consolidation and cooperation,” he said.

Opponents feel like it’s unnecessary.

The price tag of the study is up to $100,000.

While Evans, Martinez and Appling are well-established places within Columbia County, they aren’t municipalities like Grovetown and Harlem.

If the county incorporates, Harlem and Grovetown would remain separate cities.

This isn’t the first time this has been attempted. The county has looked into this as early as 2006.