This is part of an ongoing series of Q&A sessions with various top elected officials in Newton County. To suggest questions for specific city or county issues, email reporter Rob Dewig at email@example.com.
1. How are Social Circle’s various road projects coming along?
“We have the southern leg of the truck routes under construction by the DOT, and that should be completed in November 2015. They’re moving along with that. They’ve got the gravel down, now they’re moving on to putting bridges over several creeks that pass from the Newton County line to connect with the northern leg of the routes at East Hightower Trail. We have another project that will be completed next month from the DOT, which is the repaving of Hwy. 11 and Cherokee Road through the middle of town from the Newton-Walton line at the southern city limits to the northern city limits. We’re gonna have to develop some signage to make sure traffic can still work through it all.”
2. Some big news around school is the new athletic complex. How’s that looking?
“The school just completed and opened the new athletic complex. The football stadium has artificial turf, and on the home side you walk into it just like a regular stadium. They have baseball, softball, field houses, indoor batting cages, a practice field, five tennis courts, a track, and it’s under construction now for a wrestling team. All that’s been done inside of one year. And the school system owes no money.”
3. What else should Social Circle residents know about?
“Just northeast of us, there’s a 135-acre solar farm that’s just gone into operation, and it’s the largest in Georgia – supposedly the largest west of the Mississippi. A little farther north, Walton County is putting in a reservoir, which is 1,370 acres. They’ve completed one of two bridges on Fairplay Road, 120 feet above the creek bed. Water at the dam will be 82 feet deep. It will be a water supply for all of the county and region. We’re in discussions now with the county to be able to process the water. As soon as they have the reservoir full, we will be available to sell all over this area. That reservoir will have a regional impact. The yield is supposed to be 40 million gallons a day. There’s the gas line out to Stanton Springs now as a partnership with the City of Covington and Madison. Covington’s already run their line, and we’ll be ready to provide gas to Baxter and any other industry that chooses to locate in Stanton Springs. That partnership has worked out pretty well.”
4. What about downtown?
“The city purchased the old motel in downtown Social Circle. We’ve taken down the building, and it’s now being used as a parking lot. Eventually, it’s part of the master plan for downtown. Eventually it will be part of the new library. So we’ve been busy.”