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Property owner intends to sell planned park rather than donate to Newton County
The property owner had first mentioned the possibility of donating the century-old house and four acres to the county in 2021 after the county acquired an adjacent 11-acre site in late 2015. - photo by Courtesy of Newton County

COVINGTON, Ga. — A local landowner who had offered to donate a Brown Bridge Road site for a new park and education center is no longer planning to give it to the county.

Instead, John Addison Jr. plans to sell the four-acre tract which also contains a residence on Brown Bridge Road, county spokesman Bryan Fazio said.

The action comes after District 4 Commissioner J.C. Henderson recently convinced fellow board members to delay approval of the donation until he could meet with Addison about some conditions on the gift.

The Newton County Board of Commissioners Sept. 21 voted to delay for 30 days action on accepting the donation.

Henderson said he had not had a chance to meet with Addison since the Sept. 21 meeting.

He said Addison had the right to do whatever he wanted with the land he owned.

“I hate that. It would have been a nice addition to the (land) we have over there,” Hederson said.

Henderson said he will now move forward with working with fellow commissioners Alana Sanders and Demond Mason to develop an adjacent, county-owned 11-acre tract into a new park.

The 11-acre, undeveloped site is near the intersection of their three districts. It is adjacent to Willow Creek Estates subdivision and homes along Brown Bridge Road and Trelawney Place.

“I’m looking forward to designing it for the community,” Henderson said.

He did not comment on if the delay affected Addison’s plans.

A spokesperson for Addison said he was unavailable for comment.

Henderson said Addison had first mentioned the possibility of donating the four acres he owned after the county acquired the 11-acre site in November 2015.

On Sept. 21, County Manager Lloyd Kerr said the Board of Commissioners needed to take action on Addison’s offer on the land at 11869 Brown Bridge Road by Oct. 5 with a series of conditions Addison wanted. 

Kerr said Addison’s conditions included being involved in the park’s planning process and the park being named for his parents, John Addison Sr. and Ruth Addison.

The property also includes a 111-year-old house containing about 2,000 square feet. Kerr said Addison wanted the county to pay to convert it to a facility for an educational “resource center” named for his mother, Ruth Addison, who was a longtime Newton County teacher.

Henderson said he, too, had been working with Addison on the donation and wanted to discuss it with him before the Board took action on the donation.

He said he wanted more public involvement in the negotiations and said Addison had considered funding the construction of the resource center in the past.

Henderson said he also believed he had been left out of negotiating final conditions on the donation despite the land being in the commission district he represents. 

The house and property are valued at about $127,800, according to county tax records.