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Columbus seeking bids to extend sewer past Locust Street

COLUMBUS — The town of Columbus is going out for bids to extend sewer service from Locust to Ogle Street.

The Columbus Town Council met earlier this month, and approved seeking bids for the project. Councilman Robert Williamson said there has been interest in commercial property, but without sewer service, the building cannot be sold as commercial.

The properties are zoned highway commercial, but cannot be used for businesses like restaurants due to the lack of sewer service, Williamson said. He said if properties are sold as commercial, the property valuation quadruples, which increases the town’s tax revenue.

“It’s an investment in our highway commercial property,” Williamson said.

Councilwoman Margaret Metcalf questioned the expenditure of running sewer service there. She asked why realtors would not sell the property with the promise that the town will run sewer service there if it is purchased.

Columbus Mayor Eric McIntyre said that would be promising something if they do something.

Williamson asked if the town is concerned about spending between an estimated $25,000-$50,000, because the town has the money in its enterprise fund balance.

Williamson said he has seen people walk away from the property when they discover there is no city sewer service.

“From a developer’s perspective, it’s either commercial, or it’s not,” Williamson said.

Metcalf said she is not against it, she just does not want to spend the money, then the property sit there for years and still not be sold.

“If we don’t do it, it will always sit there,” McIntyre responded.

Councilman Richard Hall said he is in favor of running sewer to that section of town. He said Columbus’ growth is going to be that way, with the new jail and sheriff’s office being built.