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The Covington City Council and the Newton County Board of Commissioners in a rare joint vote approved, unanimously, this week to issue $23 million in bonds to fund the public portion of the county's hotel/civic center project.

Officials also voted to increase local hotel taxes from 5 percent to 8 percent, which will help pay down the bonds used for the project.

During past years elected officials, the Main Street program and private citizens have done everything in their power to maintain and promote a strong downtown for Covington.

Official's approval of this project is the crown jewel of those efforts.

Not only is the new hotel/civic center going to bring walking traffic to our beautiful downtown, the project will be an employment bonanza that should, at a minimum, create a $2 million dollar payroll

For those who have held this dream and worked tirelessly to bring it to fruition, bravo. You have insured that city of Covington and Newton County residents will continue to have one of the most vibrant working downtowns in the state of Georgia.