Covington-Newton County has a new interim county manager as of Tuesday night, when the Board of Commissioners voted to appoint Harry Owens to the position.
Owens has been working as a human resources constultant for the county for several months, and his appointment was effective immediately.
The Board of Commissioners also voted to give the chairman the green light to start seeking out loan options to pay for a new heating, cooling and ventilation system at the Covington branch of the Newton County Library. The system is estimated to cost about a million dollars, $100,000 of which will be provided by the state if the county commits to buying the new system before the end of June.
Separately, the board approved a request from the Sheriff to apply for Bureau of Justice funds for body cameras.
The board passed a motion made by Commissioner J.C. Henderson to charge the County Attorney with assisting the Nelson Heights Community Center to become eligible for reimbursement from Bright From The Start for its after-school food program.
The board heard an update on the Neighborhood Stabilization Program, which the county is hoping to close out soon.
Finally, commissioners voted to settle a lawsuit filed by William Durden, a landscaper who sued the county over the termination of his contract, for $45,000. A second suit filed by Durden against Chairman Keith Ellis and the late John Middletown, former county manager, was dismissed on summary judgement but has been appealed.
Chairman Keith Ellis decreed June 2 to be Dr. Robert Faulkner Day, in honor of the community physician who retired in May. Faulkner was instrumental to the founding of mental health facilities, as well as the juvenile court system in Newton County. Read more about his contributions to Newton County in our profile.
See more in this Sunday's edition of The News.