Covington took another step toward adding a gazebo to the square Tuesday, but the city also unveiled a full landscaping plan that reinvents areas of the square.
The plan, which is in the early conceptual stage and can be viewed in the documents attached to this article (see the media above), calls for:
• a 24-foot wide gazebo to be placed on the southeast quadrant nearest Scoops
• a bubbler fountain around the Confederate soldier statue in the middle of the square
• turning the area around the war veterans monument near the Historic Courthouse into a paved area to make it more accessible for events like those held on Veterans Day and Memorial Day; the flag pole will also be moved over here
• planting azaleas near the war veterans monument to give this more of a “contemplative garden” look, according to Covington Planning Director Randy Vinson
• beginning to replace the Maple trees around the outside of the square which are dying and are ill-suited for urban environments with more suitable willow oak trees; other red and white oaks will also be planted
• adding more trash cans and benches and ensuring all of them have a uniform look
The Newton County Board of Commissioners approved the concept plan presented by the city, including specifically approving the city moving forward with the gazebo and benches. The county owns the square but reached an agreement where the city will take over maintenance of the square; any major changes, like many of those described above, must first be approved by the county before the city can move forward.
Vinson was clear that the city has not yet priced the above items, and the City Council will be the group to decide how much it wants to spend on improvements.