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Covington council approves various permit extensions
Refinances Three Rings Studios contract to account for additional lighting
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COVINGTON, Ga. — Since many local projects have been slowed down or halted due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Covington City Council elected to extend current land disturbance permits, building permits and right of way encroachment permits.

The council approved the motion unanimously at a virtual, special-called meeting Tuesday, July 14, giving current permit holders an additional 180 days — six months — without any additional fees.

Mayor Steve Horton said it was an important issue to resolve because many developers’ permits had already expired or were nearing expiration.

“A number of developers or permit holders have called asking the city to extend the permits for an additional six months,” Horton said.

City Manager Scott Andrews said the action was taken to set a standard for equal treatment.

“What we want to do is just be consistent and not offer it to some and not everyone,” he said.

In other business, the council voted 4-3 to refinance a contract with Three Ring Studios to fund additional parking lot lighting. (Councilman Anthony Henderson, Councilwoman Fleeta Baggett and Councilman Don Floyd opposed; Horton voted “yes” to break the tie.) The additional project cost for Three Ring Studios was said to be upwards of $80,000 over a five-year period.

The council also approved a resolution to reword specifics of the public safety hazard incentive approved a few weeks ago. The city’s first responders, including police officers, fire fighters and E-911 employees received a one-time payment of $625. The change made Tuesday night was to remove the term describing certain E-911 employees as “non-salaried employees” and change it to "City of Covington radio room employees.”

Before the meeting adjourned, the council entered into executive session to discuss potential litigation and land.