COVINGTON, Ga. – Six months after Covington-Newton County 911 Director Mike Smith briefed county leaders on problems plaguing the building housing the Center, new concerns revealed themselves this week.
In a Tuesday night email to county and city leaders Smith described recent problems he said are putting his employees at risk.
“We have raw sewage bubbling up through and eroding our parking lot. (The) property manager has informed us they have been having an issue with homeless breaking into the wing next to us,” he wrote. “Jody (Nolan, EMA director) had a bunch of tables and chairs set up in there and apparently they were stolen.”
Smith included photos that showed what appears to be the beginning of a sinkhole in the parking area and a snake crawling up the wall next to the employee entrance.
The county signed a new eight-year lease on the Carlton Trail building which formerly housed Cousins High School and Cousins Middle School in July 2015. In addition to the 911 center, the building also houses the county’s Emergency Management Agency and the Newton County office of the Georgia Department of Driver’s Services.
In May, The Covington News reported on issues at the Center including repeated roof leaks, plumbing issues and mice, rat and bug infestations that were affecting Center employees.
Newton County Public Information Officer Bryan Fazio issued a statement Wednesday morning addressing Smith’s concerns.
“Newton County is aware of concerns at the Covington-Newton County 911 Center and is working on a long-term solution.
The County is taking steps to fix immediate problems and has done so as issues have arisen. Newton County is also working with the owner of the building to resolve any issues described in the lease to be the responsibility of the landlord — any structural repairs, including repairs and maintenance of the roof, walls, foundation and utility lines.
Newton County will continue to be responsive to requests for repairs to the 911 Center, along with all offices operated by the County.”