We at the News-Advocate applaud the Columbus City Councilís decision to provide water to Cherokee County free of charge.

The city and the county both provide services to the other and a fight over billing serves neither the two organizations nor the tax payers.

We likewise applaud the councilís decision to provide free water to the ball fields, Girl Scout House, American Legion Fair Grounds, Columbus Saddle Club Rodeo Arena and 4-H building.

These civic organizations bring in thousands of dollars in tax revenue and tourist dollars to the community each year and the minimal cost of providing water to these very seasonal activities not only enriches the community but is good public relations at a time when governments at all levels are exceedingly unpopular.

When governmental entities fight whoever wins the taxpayers most certainly lose.

We are glad to note cooler heads prevailed in this instance.

We still maintain, however, it should never have come to this.

Hand-shake agreements were all well and good 40 years ago. However in this day and age it is unfortunately true that formal agreements are needed to ensure everyone gets exactly what was agreed to.

We suggest the city and county should conclude a formal agreement as to what services the county will provide in exchange for their water to avoid any further misunderstandings.

Writing for the board ó

Patrick Richardson