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County approves options for possible industry site
Deal could lead to second site for major development in eastern Newton

COVINGTON, Ga. The Newton County Board of Commissioners voted 4-1 to approve purchase options on two tracts of land totaling nearly 1,000 acres to be used as part of a megasite to attract industry and jobs to the county.

District 5 Commissioner Ronnie Cowan cast the lone dissenting vote.

The vote came after a mid-meeting executive session that lasted just over a half hour Tuesday night. The amount paid for the purchase option was not disclosed during the meeting.

Citing a nondisclosure agreement, County Attorney Megan Martin said after the meeting she was unable to disclose the amount of money paid or offer much information on the project.

“It’s a potential industrial project. That’s all I can share with you,” she said.

Martin said there has been no county purchase of any land at this juncture.

David Bernd, vice president of economic development with the Newton County Office of Economic Development, said the county paid a nominal fee for the purchase option but could not provide the amount. He said the purchase options are used to lock in the price of the land for a period of time.

“It’s a procedure to go through so the price can’t change,” he said.

Bernd said the land is in the northeast corner of the county 1.2 miles from Interstate 20, off of Georgia 11. It will used as part of the Historic Heartland Megasite.

According to the Office of Economic Development website, there are currently two megasites located on the east side of the county. The other is the Stanton Springs site where Shire and the Georgia Bioscience Training Center are located.