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Seniors’ concerns addressed, town hall meeting scheduled at board of commissioners meeting
BOC meeting
Citizens attend a Planning Commissioners meeting on July 25 at the Historic Courthouse in Covington. - photo by File Photo

NEWTON COUNTY –  The Newton County Board of Commissioners meeting on Aug. 1 concluded with unanimous approvals. There were two zoning petitions, three alcohol beverage licenses, nine items for consideration, land acquisition and a town hall meeting scheduled. 

County Manager Harold Cooper provided some insight into the purpose of the town hall meeting in a statement.

“We have heard from our most treasured resource - our seniors - and we know there are some areas where we can provide some needed information and clarity to enhance the delivery of this program,” Cooper said. “This town hall will give us a chance to share information and hear directly from the people we are serving.”

The Aug. 9 town hall meeting will take place in the banquet room at 6185 Turner Lake Road. It will be split into two different sessions — 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.; 10:30 a.m. to Noon. The meeting will be recorded and available on and for those unable to attend.

The meeting intends to address concerns, provide consistent communications and to “move forward” following the influx of citizen comments regarding the Newton County Low Income Senior Home Repair Program.

Created for applicants who earn at or below 80 percent of the median income, the program provides assistance to senior citizens 55 years old or older who own a residence in the county and are facing financial hardships.

After commissioner Alana Sanders’ motion to add the senior repair program to the agenda was approved, five citizens expressed their concerns. There seemed to be frustrations regarding the program and application system during the time allotted for citizen comments.

“We need more humanity. We need your help,” the fifth citizen said. “I just want what’s right for Newton County. Let’s do it together [and] let’s try to do it right.”

Cooper extended his apology to the affected citizens, stating he would venture out to sites to access the issues on Wednesday.

“I am sorry for the issues you all have gone through and just know when you all shed a tear, I bleed. We hear [your] concerns and we will address those issues effective immediate.”

Currently, there are 1,300 seniors in the application system who could receive up to $30,000 through the program for home repairs. The program’s allotted funding amount is $5 million from the American Rescue Plan Act.

In a 5-0 vote, the board approved a motion to pause new applications for 14 days until the next board meeting. However, those who have already put in an application have until Aug. 31 to submit all required documents in order to fully complete their application. 

During the public hearing for zoning, two petitions approved by the planning commission last week were approved by the Board of Commissioners.

During his report, Cooper stated the Georgia Department of Transportation issued the replacement of a county owned bridge on Henderson Mill Road near Bear Creek. This marks the fifth Newton County-owned bridge to receive replacement over the last eight years at no cost to the county.

Newton County Board of Commissioners will meet next on Aug. 15 at 7 p.m. For more info, visit for a full breakdown on eligibility and required documents.