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'Vampire Diaries' gets noise permit
Night filming planned
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"The Vampire Diaries" is returning to film at Worthington Manor, 2129 East St., Covington, but the crew had to get a special-use permit to temporarily violate the city’s noise ordinance for night filming from Nov. 12-14, as even a director’s yell of "Cut!" would be too loud under the current rules.

The permit covers filming up to 1 a.m., though Covington Mayor Ronnie Johnston said the crew hopes to be wrapped up as close to 11 p.m. as possible. The Covington City Council approved the permit Monday by a 4-1 vote, with Councilwoman Hawnethia Williams voting in opposition; Councilman Mike Whatley was absent.

According to the city’s noise ordinance, no noises above 60 decibels are allowed between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m., and no noises above 55 decibels are allowed between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m. Johnston said a person yelling "Cut!" loudly could violate the noise ordinance, so the filming company secured a special-use permit for filming.

Johnston said the company will provide monetary compensation to affected neighbors.

According to the city’s filming policy, drafted in late 2012, if filming or a wrap-up extends beyond midnight, each resident within 200 linear feet of the actual film location is supposed to receive $50 per each day of activity.

Worthington Manor, better known as Lockwood Mansion to fans of the "The Vampire Diaries,’’ has been a popular filming location for years. The house was purchased in 1997 by Ralph Miller and his partner Benjamin Dameron and underwent extensive renovations.

City to lease police vehicles

The city recently contracted to receive 19 Dodge Chargers for the police department, but has decided to lease the vehicles.

The council approved accepting a three-year, 1.31 percent interest loan from the Georgia Municipal Association to finance $815,026 for the cars and the computers and other equipment that will be installed in them.

At the end of the three-year lease, the city will be able to either purchase the cars for their residual value or turn them back in, according to city officials. The 19 cars complete the city’s Assigned Officer program, which assigns a separate vehicle to each police officer.

While the initial vehicle costs are higher, the goal of the program is to improve vehicle longevity, both by giving cars time to rest, so they’re not running constantly, and by holding officers accountable for the condition of their cars, Police Chief Stacey Cotton said previously.