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Local transportation official takes early retirement
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Transportation Project Manager Terry Savage is leaving the city of Covington after an eight-year career working on the city’s roads, sidewalks and other projects.

Savage, 62, took the city’s early retirement package – he took the city’s offer to purchase years of service so he could become fully vested with 10 years of service – and will leave at the end of the year to spend more time with family, particularly his three grandchildren, Michael Webb, 13, Luke Savage, 6, and Olivia Savage, 1.

His daughter, Marie Webb, lives next door to his house just southwest of Mansfield, while his son, Jason, lives across the street, so seeing the grandchildren won’t be any problem. He also wants to spend more time with his wife, as the
couple was just married last year.

Savage said he has enjoyed his time with the city, where he worked on sidewalk and road projects, as well as a variety of other things from cemeteries to the city airport. But as with many city employees, he said he will miss the people the most.

"There are a lot of good people that work here," Savage said.

Along with former Transportation Manager Billy Skinner, Savage was also one of the people who frequently worked with the public, answering questions and exploring concerns from citizens about roads and sidewalks.

One person he might never have met if he hadn’t worked for the city was the late Roger Sheridan, mayor of Newborn.

"He was a very nice man, and I thought a lot of him," Savage said.

Prior to working for the city, Savage spent 32 year working for AT&T. He started as a clerk with AT&T Long Lines and moved up to communications technician, working at the Salem Road office, and working with the phone switching machines and other equipment needed to send phone calls where they needed to go.

In 1988 he took a job locating coaxial and fiber optic cable for the company and also maintained the unmanned remote locations around the area. Those unmanned buildings are still around; there’s one next to Covington Christian Church on Ga. Highway 142 south. The stations were located every 23 to 28 miles along major routes, and Savage would visit any that needed repairs or routine maintenance, covering 200-300 miles a day, everywhere from Macon to Gainesville and Atlanta to Augusta.

When someone would call AT&T wanting to dig for different projects, AT&T used to require an AT&T employee to be on site for the entire project to make sure the company’s property was protected.

"Back in those days, they had a lot of military circuits and handled things like air traffic controllers, things that were high priority," Savage said.

He joined the city in November 2005 as an engineering technician.

Once he’s retired, Savage plans to spend more time deer hunting, fishing and gardening.

"I hope I have time to fish now," Savage said, laughing.