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Commissioners vote to fund trail
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Newton County Commissioners have conditionally allocated $100,000 for the library to Eastside High School trail.

Commissioners voted 3-2 Tuesday for the funding, which will serve as a 20 percent match for a $400,000 state grant for the project.

The money will only be spent if the county receives the grant. The $400,000 would cover a shortfall to reach the $1.8 million needed to complete the 2.6 mile trail.

Commissioners Mort Ewing and Tim Fleming opposed the funding motion.

The county has spent $146,021 on the trail and the City of Covington has spent $114,000. In addition, $833,380 in grants have been acquired, as well as $30,000 in private donations.

The money is expected to come out of the county’s "Capital Improvements" budget, which is used for various transportation projects throughout the year.

The Covington City Council voted at its Monday night meeting not to fund a match for the trail grant.

In other county news, commissioners voted 5-0 to spend $35,328 to make the Newton County Administration Building handicap accessible. The money will be used to build a wheelchair ramp and a pushbutton access entrance at the entrance nearest the board of elections, down the hall from the main entrance at Usher and Pace streets.

The project calls for appropriate fencing, additional concrete for a sidewalk and resurfacing of the parking lot behind the building. Part of the work will be done by the county, while the ramp will be built by SteelCo Buildings, which supplied the low bid. Much of the money will come from the county’s contingency fund.