As of April 1, Newton County and its municipalities were back in compliance with the Georgia Department of Community Affairs and eligible to receive new state funds.
The county fell out of compliance because it was late in submitting a few pages of its service delivery strategy by the March 1 deadline. The SDS identifies which governmental entities will handle services, like fire fighting, public safety, sewer, trash, utilities and water, in which parts of the county. Because of its length and complexity, an SDS must only be updated once every 10 years according to state law.
The county and all of its cities said they were not affected by the temporary ban on receiving new state funds, because no funds were scheduled to be awarded during March. All previously awarded funding was still received.
DCA Assistant Commissioner Mike Gleaton said Newton County was actually back in compliance by the middle of March, but the DCA can only update its out of compliance list every month. He said there are no long-term implications because of the missed deadline.
"This was just a blip. They basically had 97 to 99 percent of their SDS in on time, there were just a few pieces missing," Gleaton said. "Typically, Newton County and Covington are some of our star performers and do well with all our guidelines. We wish them all the best."
Porterdale and Mansfield remain out of compliance because they have not finished their comprehensive plans.