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Covington wrapup: Design students return with drafts of logo
Covington City Council Members, from left, front row, Kenneth Morgan, Ocie Franklin and Chris Smith mark the logo designs submitted by UGA students they like and dislike. Back row, Council Member Josh McKelvey and Assistant City Manager Billy Bouchillon.

University of Georgia (UGA) Design Studio students submitted logo designs for the City of Covington, and its utility company, to the city council on Monday night.

Before creating their designs, the students met with the council, and then during a Thursday Lunchoen Concert on the Square, spent a day talking to citizens during.

“The majority of those questioned were Covington or Newton County residents,” said student Stephen McConkey, adding when asked what they thought of when thinking of the city, said, “people thought about the Square, the history and the movie business.”

The 16 students and Donnie Longenecker, a lecturer in landscape architecture at the Design Studio, met with the council on Sept. 16. (See “New city logo to be drafted by UGA Design Studio Students,” here:

Logo designs shown Monday night ranged from abstract “C”s to a magnolia combined with the name of the city to a small sketch of a city flanked by laurel wreaths. The second board of designs showed logos for the utility department.

Council members were asked to use a green marker to check designs they liked and a red “x” to note the ones they did not like. Once that was completed, Longenecker reviewed the images that were favored, and after a brief discussion told the council the students would return to the “drawing board” to incorporate suggested changes.  

Other council business:

County waste policies concern city

Council Member Chris Smith, Post 1, East, reported that he had been approached by a number of residents concerned about the county’s adoption of a fee to use neighborhood recycling centers as well as the decision to close those convenience centers in the near future.

Smith said he noticed an increase in furniture and larger items being thrown into the dumpster at his family’s  business, Newton Electric. He requested that the City Manager Leigh Anne Knight and Assistant City Manager Billy Bouchillon research what it would cost for the city to resume regular trash pickup of large items, such as sofas and mattresses.

Bouchillon said it would require adding two employees at a cost of $60,000 per employee and increases in landfill tipping fees. He estimated it would cost the city an additional $200,000 a year, $350,000 in the first year because of the need to purchase another sanitation truck.

Knight pointed out that sanitation service in the city was already running at a deficit of $200,000, which will cost each household $3 more monthly. If pickup of larger items is resumed, it would add an additional $200,000 to the deficit, and another $3 to monthly trash bills.

Knight and Bouchillon said they would take a look at the options and costs, and return with information for the council.

Fifth Citizen’s Academy student graduates

The fifth graduating class of Covington’s Citizen’s Police Academy received their diplomas at the Covington City Council meeting on Monday.

“They [the students] have been very, very intrigued by what we do,” said Almon Turner, Assistant Chief of Police.

One of the graduates was Council Member Josh McKelvey, Post 3, East.

“It was a privilege and an honor to be part of the class,” he said. “Not only did I get to learn ... in-depth about the department, I got to learn more about the officers and people in the community.

“We had a good time,” he said. “I want to thank all of your who had a part in putting this on. I encourage citizen’s watching to be part of it.”

Jonathan Pascal, president of the newly created nine-member Citizen’s Police Academy executive board, told the council, “One of the really great things that happened during this was Taser night. Council Member McKelvey is the only city council member who’s been tasered ... and he enjoyed it.”

Other actions

The council also:

  • approved the purchase of a crew cab pickup, converted to run on Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) from Covington Ford for $38,934, and the purchase of a 2016 Takeuchi track loader for $49,809 after receiving $18,000 trade-in value for the city’s old track loader;
  • approved a contract with Southland Paving Company to complete 1.5 miles of asphalt concrete patching, milling and resurfacing of various city roads for $158,636.24, funded by the Loal Maintenance and Improvement Grant (LMIG) from the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT);
  • approved the acceptance of the 2017 LMIG Grant from GDOT for $163,924, and the city’s required 40 percent matching grant of $49,177.28, to pay for street repairs next year;
  • approved a contract with Pyrotechnio of New Castle, Pennsylvania, for $42,000 for fireworks for the Fourth of July, with the understanding that donations will be raised to cover a minimum of $27,500 of the expense;
  • approved a contract for $1,113,313 to Legacy Water Groups, LLC, to move utilities at the intersection of Alcovy Road and Highway 142 in advance of a GDOT project to widen the two roads;
  • suspended the housing incentive program adopted by the city in 2011 due to lack of interest;
  • tabled voting on a contract bid for $38,000 with Arbor Equity to inventory city street trees until the council could do more research into the project.
  • accepted IRS-required changes to the city’s defined benefit plan;
  • approved an application to sell alcoholic beverages for on-premise consumption only for The Depot Sports Bar and Grill at 4122 Emory Street;
  • approved requests for road closures for Halloween on Tuesday, Oct. 31:
    • making Covington Place subdivision roads one-way from 4:30 to 9:30 p.m.;
    • closing The Historic Square and one block each direction to vehicular traffic for the Covington Police Department’s “Scare on the Square,” from 4:30 to 9:30 p.m.;
    • closing Hunt, Pratt and Swann streets in Clark’s Grove to outside vehicular traffic; and
    • the Lion’s Club Christmas Parade, 4 a.m. to noon, Saturday, Dec. 3.