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Columbus seeks joint meetings with county

Columbus Town Council discussed last week its wish to begin jointly meeting again with the county and other Polk County towns.
The idea arose when council began discussing recycling and how Polk County could help the town at its recycling center.
Columbus Councilman Michael Gage said he has been trying to think of ways the county could help the towns recycling center considering that 60 percent of its users are county, not town, residents. Gage said he would like the county to contribute to the towns recycling center without the county “cutting a check.”
Interim Columbus Town Manager Bob Shepherd said he has been talking with county manager Ryan Whitson and county chairman Cindy Walker and said many small governments jointly meet to discuss common issues.
All members of Columbus Town Council said they would like to begin meeting with the officials from the county and other towns.
Polk County and the towns of Columbus, Saluda and Tryon began meeting jointly several years ago for discussions on water and other public works issues. The joint meetings went on for some time with commissioners and councils meeting on a monthly basis. Those meetings stopped a couple of years ago after the county and the towns became split on the issue of whether or not to jointly form a water authority.
The towns went one way on water and the county went another. The county now owns Lake Adger for a future source of water for the county.
The towns are jointly constructing a water line between Tryon and Saluda that will connect all three towns systems.
Polk County officials have recently mentioned their goal of connecting the county’s Mill Spring water system to Columbus as a back-up, so water could be another topic to continue discussing if the county and towns agree to begin meting jointly again.