The new Walmart at the intersection of Brown Bridge and Salem Road has hired 314 associates and is planning to have its grand opening from 7 to 8 a.m. March 14.
Manager Ron Tillman gave an update to the Newton County Board of Commissioners Tuesday and told the board that the store hired 64 more employees that originally expected. He said 90 percent of all employees are from Newton County.
He also invited commissioners to a special VIP-event at Walmart March 11.
Hydrilla problem at Lake Varner
The board approved a $57,500 bid from Columbus-based Cline Service Corporation to build a fish barrier in Lake Varner.
The fish barrier is needed as part of the effort to fight the hydrilla, a nonnative invasive aquatic weed, problem at the county's main reservoir.
In order to fight the weed, the county will have to add another nonnative species, grass carp, to the lake. The barrier will prevent the fish from flowing into the Alcovy River and eating other native plants. The carp are sterile so that they cannot reproduce.
The money will be paid from the county's water fund.
Land contour mapping update
The board also approved spending $20,000 as part of a joint project to have aerial mapping done for the entire county.
Norcross-based Photo Science will use Light Detection And Ranging (LiDAR) technology, which is able to accurately map land's contours.
The technology is used by the Geographic Information Systems department for several purposes, including to study water flows and identify areas that can be susceptible to flooding.
The county was last mapped in 2006. The city of Covington and Newton County Water and Sewerage Authority will each contribute $15,000 of the cost.