We were pleased to see forward progress on the county's 2050 Plan recently, as the city of Covington, Newton County and Newton County Water and Sewerage Authority agreed to spend $50,000 a piece to work on putting some teeth into what until now has been a general blueprint.
The purpose of the 2050 Plan is to further build up the already developed western half of the country, while protecting the largely undeveloped eastern half. The plan also seeks to develop mini communities throughout the county, which will contain schools, businesses and residents so that government reduces its infrastructure costs by preventing sprawl and residents spent less time and gas to get what they need and connect with others.
It's a wonderful vision developed by some creative community leaders who saw an opportunity to turn Newton County into a model. But, none of it will happen unless the county and cities put ordinances into place that both control and direct growth and stand up to legal challenges.
The initial $150,000 investment, which should be supplement by smaller cities in Newton, will hopefully go a long way toward preparing us to deal with future housing and commercial growth when it returns.