The Covington Square has been revitalized and beautified with hundreds of visitors a week coming through the iconic Covington location. The blooming magnolias, friendly store owners and well-manicured park show off Covington as a city of excellence.
However, just blocks off the famed Square lies overgrown properties, old sofas, broken bottles, discarded tires and other refuse.
Covington City Councilwoman Ocie Franklin drives her district regularly and at the June 1 city council meeting had enough. She told the council that people were dumping their trash in lots of vacant and abandoned buildings on streets that were known as The Bottom to “In the Heat of the Night Fans”.
During a ride through her district, Franklin showed The News areas where people are dumping garbage rather than calling the city to pick it up (for a fee) or taking it to the Newton County landfill or one of several convenience centers throughout the county.
The Covington City Council has discussed the problem of dumping and overgrown landscapes several times in the hopes of coming up with solutions.
Some of the properties are still owned with no one living in the apartments or houses. Some of the owners are renting their buildings and provide the zoning department with difficulty in locating the owner.
The zoning department has been looking for tools such as tax liens and fees to issue the land owners.
Another possible solution brought up at the June 1 council meeting was putting trail cameras at locations where dumping is known to occur.
The posted cameras would work as a way of identifying the litterers, as well as a deterrent.