Last week our online poll asked participants whether they were happy to see the downtown Covington civic center/hotel project moving forward with the official selection of a private developer and approval of bonds to fund the building's construction. The poll results showed half of the participants felt the building was needed and half did not.
The News staff is a bit puzzled why so many were against the project intended to bring revenue into the city and bolster the profits of downtown businesses. The bonds used during the construction phase will be paid down using increased hotel and motel taxes, which visitors to the city will pay - not residents. The facility will also provide ample space for conferences, special receptions and theatre productions put on by our very own Arts Association in Newton County among others. Covington cannot be scared of change if we want to develop our economy.
The News fully endorses this undertaking as long as the architectural style is harmonious with the existing historical buildings and all traffic concerns are considered. We're sure business owners on the square would love a bit of extra foot traffic downtown even without an event taking place. This facility is an inevitability and won't cost us any extra tax dollars, so instead of focusing on the possible negative aspects, let's think of great ways to use the facility so it rewards the community with revenue and entertainment.