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Aerators will help keep ponds at Academy Springs clean
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When the Satsuki Garden Club began working on a pollinator garden at Academy Springs Park, it quickly became obvious that the two ponds on the property needed attention.

“When we started working on the garden, a few of us noticed that the ponds looked really bad,” Kevin Walsh told the Covington City Council Monday night. “One gentleman came every day to fish things out of the pond ...”

Walsh, a member of the Lions, appeared before the council to ask the city to install aerators in the ponds.

“We removed trash, shoes, weeds, algae,” he said. “Pond dye was added to block UV rays and limit algae growth.

“We’ve met people from all over the county who come there [Academy Springs Park] with their kids to play. By having something very nice, a clean place for them to be, a safe place for them to work ... everything has worked out,” he said.

The aerators, he said, would keep the water in the ponds clean and prevent the growth of duck weed as well as mosquito larvae. Walsh said that Georgia Department of Natural Resources said if the pond was cleaned up and kept nice, they would stock them with 300 catfish a year. “We could have a fishing tournament for kids every year,” he said.

Presenting the recommendations made by Living Water Aeration, a Louisiana-based company, Walsh said electricity would have to be run to the ponds to run the surface aeration system, each costing $748. The council unanimously approved spending up to $1,600 for the systems.

Certificate of achievement for Randy Smith

At the beginning of the meeting, Mayor Ronnie Johnston presented a certificate of achievement for excellence in financial reporting to Randy Smith, the city’s finance director. The certificate is awarded by the Government Finance Officers Association to local governments for going beyond minimum requirements of accounting principles to prepare comprehensive annual financial reports.

City Manager Leigh Anne Knight said the city had received the award because the Finance Department had created a comprehensive annual report, providing extensive financial, geographic, government structure and historical information.

The council also:

Approved the de-annexation of a piece of land in the East Metro Industrial Park on Moore and East Metro Parkway;

Approved a license to sell alcoholic beverages for off-premise consumption for Cov USA, Inc, doing business as Emory Groceries;

Approved a plan that would allow Solid Rock Baptist Church to replace temporary trailers used for offices with a permanent structure, with construction to begin by May a capital fundraising campaign. The trailers would be disconnected from utilities by Jan. 15 and removed by Jan. 31, with the building to be completed by Jan. 15, 2018.

Tabled an ordinance proposed by Planning and Zoning banning vinyl siding in future construction or remodeling, to be brought back to the city council in the first quarter of 2017;

Tabled a request by Irish Bred for outdoor dining and an outdoor ancillary tastings of beer and wine for The Cork Boutique until the owners of the two businesses could attend a council meeting to answer questions and concerns;

Approved the purchase of a geomembrane liner for the storage pond and accepted a bid from DX2 to install the liner for a total of $249,000.51;

Accepted a bid from DAF Construction Company for $82,125 to extend the sidewalk on Turner Lake Road to Clark Street;

Gave approval to a request from Knight to purchase a used roll-off sanitation truck for up to $100,000; and

Approved a request from Main Street for $5,000 for fireworks for Christmas celebrations.