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Chairman says board made 'major steps' this year
Marcello Banes
Marcello Banes - photo by File Photo

COVINGTON, Ga. — The Newton County Board of Commissioners held its final meeting of 2019 on Tuesday night, Dec. 3.

Before moving into an executive session to discuss land acquisition, Chairman Marcello Banes expressed his gratitude to the community he served and the progress the board has made over the last year.

"It's been another, I think, great year for our board and our community," he said. "I think this board has made some major steps, and our county manager has had a big influence in that with the strategic plan. I say 'thank you' for the work you have done. … It took this whole board as a group, as a unit, to make it happen. I think we have a great board. I am super duper proud of you guys. Proud to be the chairman of this great community. With that, I say 'thank you.'"

The last meeting was kept short with the board handling very few matters before the holiday break.

Grant from the Northeast Georgia Regional Commission 

The board unanimously approved the request to accept the $17,577 grant from Northeast Georgia Regional Commission, which will be used to continue the food programs for seniors, such as Meals on Wheels. No match was required by the county.

"We have increased the numbers of clients we serve significantly, so this will help us continue to be able to feed them," County Manager Lloyd Kerr said.

Resolution for excess right of way

The board unanimously approved the resolution to convert 0.179 acres of excess right of way, located at the northwest corner of the intersection of Georgia Highway 20 and Georgia Highway 212, to the property owner, GA HWY 20, LLC. 

In 2008, the county initiated a condemnation action against the property owner in 2008 regarding the 1,479.13 square feet of land for "permanent easement" and 23,396.67 square feet of land for "fee simple right of way," according to the resolution.

The county and the property owner settled the action in 2011 by negotiating a settlement agreement, according to the resolution. As part of the agreement, the county was to reconvey the excess right of way, totaling 0.179 acres, back to the property owner.

2020 Workers' Compensation

The board unanimously approved the 2020 workers' compensation policy renewal, which included a 7.5% reduction on premiums — or a savings of $16,188. The total estimated contribution to the ACCG Advancing Georgia's Counties on Jan. 1 is $199,255. 

Animal Control improvements

The board unanimously approved the agreement for Sunbelt Builders Inc. to construct new improvements expanding the existing animal control center with a maximum cost of is $1,394,044. 

Previously, the board approved the maximum cost for the senior services building, so the overall finalized cost for the construction of both projects is $3,102,964.