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Covington council welcomes new manager
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The Covington City Council welcomed its new city manager Monday, approved new speed limits for two neighborhoods, donated a vehicle to the Newton County College and Career Academy and took another step toward having a compressed natural gas fueling facility.

City manager Leigh Anne Knight attended her first council meeting as city manager after she was appointed to the position by the council on Feb. 7. At the meeting, Mayor Ronnie Johnston welcomed Knight.

"I am incredibly excited about what she brings to the city," Johnston said.

Council member Chris Smith thanked deputy city manager Billy Bouchillon for filling in as city manager and also welcomed Knight to her new position.

"(Bouchillon) stepped in and did a great job for us in the absence of a city manager full-time and worked very hard with all of us, and I’m sure answered questions for me and the community," Smith said. "I also want to welcome Ms. Knight and wish her all luck, and if I can ever help you please let me know."

Knight told the council that she was honored the council chose her for the position.

"I look forward to working to the best of my ability to see the city grow and prosper in a manner that’s beneficial to the citizens, the customers and the employees because that’s very important. I believe we have an excellent staff and that we will continue to work and make it a great place to be a part of," Knight said.

In other business, the council approved adding a speed limit in the Corrydell Subdivision and reducing the speed limit on Green Acres Drive. The council approved for a speed limit of 20 mph in the Corrydell Subdivision, which never had a speed limit; and lowered the speed limit on Green Acres Drive from 35 mph to 30 mph.

There was some discussion about whether the Green Acres Drive speed limit needed to be lower than 30 mph because of the 20 mph speed limit set in the Corrydell Subdivision. However, the council agreed to stick with 30 mph because Green Acres Drive had a longer street distance than that of the Corrydell Subdivision.

The council also approved donating a 1998 Ford Crown Victoria to the Newton County College and Career Academy. The vehicle, which has 186,550 miles, will be used for educational purposes at the school for its automotive program.

Also during the meeting, the council approved acknowledging acceptance of a plat for four acres of land located on Ga. Highway 142. Johnston said approving the plat was the final step for the city putting together two acres of land for a proposed compressed natural gas station.

"This is just the final step into reorganizing that into one plat," Johnston said.

Knight said part of the land was the county’s and the other part of the land was the city’s. She said the council had to accept the plat in order for it to be recorded as one plat of land.

During citizen’s comments, Carol Collins addressed the council about issues she and other residents of Harristown Park, the senior living complex at the intersection of Lee and Reynolds streets, have been having with Charter Communications’ cable, internet and phone services.

Collins said from Jan. 23 to Monday she has had about 13 representatives from Charter visit the area to find out what the problems were. Collins said she has also contacted management at her building and she felt the next step was telling the council about the issues with the company. She also conducted a survey from 35 residents in the area who also were having problems with the company.

Johnston told Collins that the council did not have jurisdiction or control over Charter but said he would personally make some phone calls to help find a solution.