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County votes to not pursue trail funding
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The Newton County Board of Commissioners voted to deny applying for a $100,000 funding from the Georgia Recreational Trails Program through the Department of Natural Resources at their Nov. 20 meeting.

Cheryl Delk, Newton County Special Project Coordinator, petitioned the board to apply for the funding, which would fulfill a shortfall on 1.5 mile trail in the Porterdale Yellow River Park and Phase I of the Turkey Creek Yellow River Trail connecting Porterdale to Porterdale Elementary, Newton County Career Academy and Porterdale Auditorium.

Delk said the Georgia Recreational Trails Program was a reimbursement program and required a 20 percent match of the $100,000, which is $25,000. She said the county and Porterdale would each be required to match the funding with $12,500.
Some of the commissioners voiced their concerns they had with applying for the funding through the program.

Commissioner Tim Fleming said he didn't think the board should apply for the funding because the item was not budgeted and it was unclear of how much money was available to provide the $12,500 match. He also added that he wasn't sure if the city of Porterdale would have the funds available to provide their portion of the match. Commissioner J.C. Henderson agreed.

"It's kind of hard for me to approve the money from a fund that I don't know how much is in," Commissioner J.C. Henderson said.

Commissioner Tim Fleming made a motion to deny the applying for the funding and the board unanimously agreed.

In other business, Veda Miller was reappointed to the planning commission for District 2. The board also approved several grants and awarded bids for several road projects at their meeting.

Juvenile Services

The board approved for the Alcovy Circuit Juvenile Drug Court to accept a grant from the Accountability Court Funding Committee in the amount of $62,327. The grant will go towards supporting the drug court programs.

Sheriff's Office

The board approved for the sheriff's office to accept a grant from Department of Justice, State Alien Assistance Program for $9,322. The grant is to be used for correctional purposes only. NCSO will use the grant money for offender education programs and technology inter-agency information sharing.

Engineering Services

The board approved awarding a bid from McCoy Grading in the amount of $2,040,834.67, for Gaither's Road improvements; and also for the construction of a culvert on Crowell Road in the amount of $1,984,810.18.

McCarthy Improvement Company was also awarded a bid by the board for the Mt. Tabor Road project. That bid was for an amount of $594,780.65.

The county also approved several resolutions at their meeting including the following:

• A resolution to pursue abandonment proceedings for a portion of the roads in the Oakwood Manor Subdivision and a resolution to abandon a portion of The Cedar Lane right-of-way; and a resolution to authorize condemnation of property for Gaither's Road improvements. According to both resolutions, the roads are no longer serving a public purpose and will be abandoned as a public road.

• A resolution to form the Facility Sitting Workgroup in regards to the 2050 Build-Out Plan. According to the resolution, the Newton County Public Infrastructure and Facility Structure Sitting Workgroup will consist of representatives from the nine governmental agencies in Newton County and the representatives will work together to develop a sustained comprehensive planning process for the 2050 Build-Out Plan.