Columbus City Council discusses updates on COVID-19 numbers and new interstate interchange

Columbus City Council discusses updates on COVID-19 numbers and new interstate interchange

COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - Several topics were discussed Tuesday during a Columbus City Council meeting Tuesday, including updates on COVID-19 numbers and a new interstate interchange.

Mayor Skip Henderson said the two week period since Halloween is near and Columbus is just underneath the threshold of 100 cases per the 100,000 population, meaning that there is a possibility the mask mandate could be reinstated.

“Because of the colder weather and a lot of activities moving indoors, and the holiday season, which is typically when you bring in not just your family but also extended family and friends, there is a very good chance that we will see some uptick,” said Henderson.

Henderson said the hospitalization rate increased with at least 50 confirmed COVID-19 cases in local area hospitals. The seven-day rolling average is holding steady at roughly 12 new cases per day, but that number is likely to increase as Henderson pointed out.

COVID-19 concerns are also the main reason the annual Veterans Day Parade is canceled this year.

Councilor Jerry “Pop” Barnes moved for a resolution honoring all the veterans in the community and those who helped make the parade a success in years prior.

“And whereas this resolution is to honor the citizens of the Columbus, Phenix City, and Fort Benning communities for their sustained support of the annual Veterans Day Parade and to the many military organizations for their support,” said Barnes.

City council also entered an agreement with the Mount Pilgrim Baptist Church to acquire roughly four acres of land that will be used for the construction of a new interstate interchange at Interstate 185 and Old Cusseta Road. Mount Pilgrim Baptist Church will be relocated onto city property one mile north of the current location.

According to the Georgia Department of Transportation, there will be a new off ramp added to Interstate 185 between Fort Benning Road and Saint Mary’s Road.

The off ramp will be located where Mt. Pilgrim Baptist Church is situated now. Councilors said this project will provide a better traffic flow for that area. There will also be a roundabout installed. Councilors said without the church’s help and cooperation, this new interstate exchange project would not go anywhere and are extremely grateful to be able to move forward with this process.

The Lambda Iota Chapter of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity also received a special honor with the council passing a proclamation to celebrate their 75th chapter anniversary Tuesday, Nov. 17.

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