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Johnston provides clarity to open container discussion
Ronnie Johnston

COVINGTON, Ga. – Covington Mayor Ronnie Johnston provided clarification in a Monday morning Main Street merchants meeting on the Covington City Council’s recent discussion of open container around the Covington square. 

“Just for clarification sake, what the council discussed was open container for several events around the square,” he said. “When I say several, I’m talking – you know – two to four per year. 

“It was never discussed to have open container every single day of the week.”

Johnston said the decision is not just dependent on the council, but would also require the county’s approval. 

“The reason why is because the county has the square itself – the square proper – and I’m not sure how we could pull that off where you’d have open container, but you couldn’t walk through the square, so I think it’s kind of silly to do it without both being on the same page,” he said. 

Johnston called the proposal a “really solid next step for the square.”

Recent conversations on social media have provided false information, which is why Johnston wanted to provide some answers to the downtown merchants. 

“It’s just like the battle we kind of waged when we did the open container in front of restaurants,” he said. “It was not an easy thing. This is going to be very similar in my opinion and it has already kind of started.”

Covington Councilwoman Susie Keck encouraged merchants to reach out to their county representatives to let them know how they feel, whether they are in-favor or against open container around the square.

“There’s no question about this one to me,” Johnston said. “But there’s a lot of different opinions.”

Johnston said his long-term goal is to best position the square to be successful.