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Sunbelt hired by city to build terminal

Local construction company, Sunbelt Builders, was awarded the contract to build the new terminal at the Covington Municipal Airport at Monday night’s Covington City Council meeting.

The 7,200-square-foot terminal will cost $1,598,732 using $500,00 of 2011 Special Local Option State Tax (SPLOST) funds, a $500,000 grant from OneGeorgia Authority, and $500,000 from the city. The terminal will be located off Nisshinbo Drive and Ga. Hwy. 142, making the airport more accessible to both Interstate 20 and the city.

The request for bid went out in June last year. City Manager Leigh Anne Knight told the council Sunbelt had been the only builder of the three who submitted bids to meet the financial and square-foot requirements of the RFB. The new terminal will have pilot facilities, public and crew waiting areas, conference rooms, an administrative office, restaurant space and restrooms.

Council members side with merchants

Though the filming of the Warner Brothers’ series, “The Originals,” had already taken place on Feb. 10 between 6 a.m. and midnight, the council needed to vote on approving the request for closing the Square and other areas of downtown Covington. City Manager Leigh Anne Knight said she had contacted all council members to get consensus, and the action item Monday night was just to make it official.

Council members Chris Smith, Post 1-East, and Hawnethia Williams, Post 2, West, opposed the request, saying they had spoken with merchants on the Square, who objected to the closing. The approval passed 4-2.

Refurbishing a park

The council unanimously approved a request from the Satsuki Garden Club to refurbish a butterfly garden at Academy Spring Park. The club will finance, install and maintain plants to attract both hummingbirds and butterflies.

CNG prices

A motion to grant staff permission to negotiate prices for Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) was approved 6-0. The motion was made because gas prices have been dropping almost daily recently, and the council only meets two times a month. The motion would make it possible for staff to respond proactively when prices change, informing the council later of the changes. The motion also approved a rate change from a maximum of $1.95 per Gasoline Gallon Equivalents (GGE) to $169 gge.

Following the final reading of two ordinances to amend two sections of the municipal code, the council unanimously voted on a motion to accept the changes. The first ordinance removes conflicting ordinances governing the application procedure for alcoholic beverage sales; the second amends development regulations governing final plat specifications and platting procedures.

Other business

The installation of the HVAC unit on the roof of the soon-to-open Irish Bread Pub went well on Monday, Knight told the council. A small section of College Street had been closed Monday so the crane could be put in place to lift the HVAC unit onto the roof of the soon-to-open Irish Bread Pub, Knight reported. The work was completed on Monday, and the company did not need the street to remain closed on Tuesday.

A resolution to change the regular meeting time to 6 p.m. was given its first reading. If passed, the March 21 meeting will begin at 6 p.m. and a work session will be the first item on the agenda.