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Posted: August 23, 2014 10:00 p.m.

Mayor: Square construction rolling


Workers began pouring concrete for the new sidewalks on the Covington Square Friday afternoon, a significant milestone for the construction project intended to make the city’s centerpiece an even prettier place.

Mayor Ronnie Johnston said construction is on schedule to meet its early-September deadline, “by the first week of September, by the second week of September we should be all done.”

The project includes resurfacing the sidewalks, building a couple new walkways, adding benches, and landscaping around the veterans’ memorial.

And power. Adding lots of power.

Johnston said the trenches some residents asked about were dug to add power cables to prevent bands or festivals from complaining about a lack of electricity for parties on the square. The trenches will also hold cords for heavy-duty speaker cords.

“I think people are excited” about the project, Johnston said.

People do seem excited, with the except one person who expressed worry that all those trenches and sidewalks will dig up the roots of the square’s big magnolias.

The trees will be fine, Johnston said.

Great Estates Landscaping, which handled the beautification of the Turner Lake roundabout, has donated its time and talent to making the square look nice, Johnston said. The city provided the landscaping materials.

“It won’t just look good for a while. It’s going to look good for a long time,” Johnston said.

The project was scheduled for late August because “there was very little going on in the Square from Aug. 11 to the first of September,” said City Manager Leigh Anne Knight.

The county allows the city to maintain and improve the square.

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TheBROTHER: August 24, 2014 11:54 a.m.

The Mayor, Saying the Square is coming along fine but no help from this Mayor for the Poor Black or White , While Big Money is being spent on Christmas Lights for every building on and off the Square . Now Big Money for the Square ,but when ever poor folk come before the you they are crushed by you and the City attorney stating that The City Charter says no money for Blacks and poor. spending money in there communities has no return, but the city attorney along with the Mayor will run to say raise utilities running the City off the Backs of the least of these. Big Money movie people come in here and you been over backward, no help with sewage lines for one family that didn't have it because the City stopped running it when it got to the Black section No help for the Homeless Shelter your negative words stopped donations to the shelter while you and your partners were asking the city to stand behind more than a quarter of a million dollar loan for the purchase of the Grille, You have done everything you could to kill Washington St, and Nelson Heights centers It has been The" Brothers" observation that your manipulation of words Funds and People are against one segment of this Community You came into being in this town by forcing people out of positions that had made the Square The Jewel every small town wanted to be like. You Mr. Mayor, proceeded to take control of the tourist money to funnel to your selected non-profits. non of color The Miracle League which every one wants, Your move now should be to seek lowering utilities, clarifying your misguided remarks your negative remarks about the shelter Nelson Heights and Washington St Tourism Money the way you have juggled it should be no problem to help who you only know as the least of these.

imagine228: August 25, 2014 9:11 a.m.

Was the square really in such sad shape that it needed this major overhaul? I think it's wonderful if Great Estates Landscaping is volunteering its time and talent to make the square look nice, but I'm sure the "landscaping materials" aren't cheap.

Is Ronnie Johnson an arborist? I want to believe, as he quoted, "the trees will be fine." If he's not an arborist, I certainly hope he had a reputable one advise him about the project. We'll find out soon enough.

One last thought: Why do the city and county continue to "fix" things that aren't "broken" instead of fixing the things that are definitely broken? Providing more transparency regarding these various projects so the public can truly see who is really benefiting from them would be enlightening to us all.

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