“This is a huge step for the town,” said Columbia resident Kerry Murphy-Hammond during the public comment session after the agreement passed.
This agreement will allow the town to utilize county services to complete regular tasks along with county initiatives.
The county can now collect and enforce taxes and other assessments. The planning commission of the county can serve the town. The county can offer officers and employees, including the attorney, for town use.
Tasks beyond routine items will be done for the town on a fee basis. The county will notify the county of such costs before completion. The Board of Supervisors does reserve the right to grant these non-routine items without charge. The town can also reject any of these services before being charged.
The agreement is expected to assist the town in improving living conditions, increasing tax collections and assisting with future planning.
The town or the county can terminate the agreement before 60 days before the end of the then-current term. The first term of the agreement is one year and automatically renews on a yearly basis if neither party opts out.
Grants administrator and chairwoman of the Columbia Task Force was publicly congratulated for her work on completing the agreement to help the town. Columbia is expected to apply for grant money to further help the town revitalize.
The historical tale of Columbia is it lost to Richmond by one vote to be the state capital. Since the capital move to Richmond in 1780, whether the tale is true or not, the James River town has not done as well as Richmond. According to the 2010 U.S. Census, Columbia had 83 residents in the 2010 U.S. Census.