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Newton to try to qualify for pilot program
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Newton County Commissioners agreed Tuesday to try to qualify for participation in a pilot program to protect the integrity of agricultural areas in the county.

If selected, Newton County will receive help from the Northeast Georgia Regional Commission staff through its Local Agricultural Protection Guide Pilot Program.

Only one of the 12 counties served by the commission will be selected for the program, according to Scott Sirotkin, director of the department of developmental services.

The regional commission will work with the county to preserve agricultural areas through use of planning and zoning techniques or economic development strategies to help Newton farmers.

In other business, commissioners approved a $124,422 bid from Moreland Altobelli to craft a permanent repair to Crowell Road. The portion of road between Brown Bridge Road and Interstate 20 was destroyed last year by flooding. About 15,000 cars pass through the area each day.

Commissioners agreed to spend $380,289.75 to resurface Gum Creek Road from Georgia Highway 81 to Ellis Road.

Commissioners also approved acceptance of a $43,617.50 federal grant to buy armor and bulletproof vests for the Newton County Sheriff's Office, and a $14,642 federal grant for the jail.