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Newton County Tomorrow requests funds from Covington
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Mike Hopkins, director of the Newton County Sewer and Water Authority, appeared before the Covington City Council Monday night on behalf of Newton County Tomorrow and its chair Jerry Roseberry, mayor of Oxford.

Hopkins requested support from the city for Newton County Tomorrow. “It’s not the 2050 plan, but there is value in collaborative spirit we have,” Hopkins said. “Mansfield, Newborn, the Newton County School Board – everybody is onboard. It’s a very small amount of money, but it does keep the lines of communications open.”

Newton County Tomorrow is a group of Newton County leaders such as the county chair, mayors throughout Newton, the superintendent and involved citizens, who meet to discuss the county’s future.

Newton County Tomorrow is requesting $18,000 a year from Covington. The Newton County Board of Commissioners and the Water and Sewer Authority also pay $18,000. Other entities pay less, depending on the population.

Mayor Ronnie Johnston asked that the request be put on the agenda for an upcoming council work session in July.

The council also:

• Approved the 2016-17 fiscal year budget of $133,134,133 in revenues, and $132,752,447 in expenditures as discussed in work sessions held in May, with a total contingency of $381,686 (see article City’s proposed 2016-2017 budget will be voted on in June at;

• Approved an on-site alcohol consumption license to Longhorn Steakhouse, 6112 Pavilion Way NW, and an off-premises consumption only license of Exxon Food Mart at 9123 Highway 278;

• Approved a Special Use Permit (SUP) to build a Midas Muffler automobile repair and maintenance facility at 8251 Highway 278 in a Commercial Manufacturing (CM) Zoning District. The business is owned by Michael Jones Automotive, Inc.;

• Approved the final reading of an ordinance allowing attorneys to pay occupancy tax by Dec. 31, reflecting Georgia State law, and unanimously adopted the ordinance;

• Heard the first reading of and held a public hearing on an ordinance that would add rental of construction, mining and forestry equipment to the real estate and rental and leasing category, and to include corrugated and solid fiber box manufacturing in the manufacturing category of the Manufacturing-2 (M2) zoning district;

• Approved the closing of the streets around the downtown Square and one block in either direction for the Fourth of July Fireworks Celebration, all day until after the event; and the closing of Clark Street directly in front of the Historic County Courthouse beginning at 9 p.m., Sunday, July 3 for the construction of a stage;

• Approved the installation of 25 miles per hour speed limit signs in the Brookline Subdivision at the request of its Home Owners’ Association;

• Approved an auditing contract with Mauldin and Jenkins LLC, the city’s current auditors renewable each year for $56,000 for 2016, $57,000 for 2017, $58,000 for 2018, $59,000 for 2019 and $60,000 for 2020;

• Tabled a request for a sidewalk extension on the south side of Conyers Street, west of Anderson Avenue to Legion Drive, asking City Manager Leigh Anne Knight to provide the council with a survey of existing sidewalks, maintenance and potential sidewalk areas; and

• Approved the closing of West Street and North Street over two week period, starting June 20, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.