After meetings with Gov. Sonny Perdue and the Georgia Department of Transportation Commissioner last week, Mayor Kim Carter is optimistic the two officials will keep Covington in mind when they are considering future projects.
On Tuesday Carter, along with State Sen. John Douglas (R-Covington), State Rep. Doug Holt (R-Covington), City Manager Steve Horton, Covington/Newton County Chamber of Commerce President John Boothby and Frank Turner Jr., a member of the Georgia Department of Community Affairs, had a 15-minute meeting with the governor.
Carter described the meeting as a brief 'meet and greet' in which she introduced herself to the governor and presented him with a basket full of Newton County memorabilia including items from the county's four institutions of higher learning as well as products from the county's chief industries including General Mills and Saint Gobain Desjonqueres.
By including items taken from outside of the city, Carter said she was working under the mindset of "we're all in this together."
On Thursday Carter, along with Horton and Douglas, met with GDOT Commissioner Gena Abraham.
"I instantly liked her because she is a no-nonsense sort of person," Carter said. "This was a working meeting. We could go in to ask for something."
Knowing that GDOT is faced with a monumental shortfall in funding, Carter said she decided it would be fruitless to ask for any state funding for road improvement projects.
Instead Carter said she asked that GDOT consider re-routing Ga. Highway 36 onto the Bypass Road going north towards I-20. The city would trade with the state for a portion of Ga. Highway 36 going into the Covington square.
The road swap would have the effect of re-routing truck traffic away from the Covington downtown Carter said.
"She was very receptive to that," Carter said. "She asked that we send to her the necessary aerial photographs. I feel like that was a huge success."