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Our thoughts... Industrial development
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You probably tire of us referring to the tough economic times we are experiencing.

We’re tired of this economic morass, too, but it is what it is.

Before the downturn, we enjoyed an economic boon. That massive uptick in development caught the city of Covington and Newton County officials by surprise, though, and we are paying the price. We must be prepared for the time when the economic winds change and we are ready for growth again. Government needs to plan ahead and think forward.

To that end, Mayor Kim Carter did the right thing last week when she cast the deciding vote for the city to annex and rezone to heavy industrial 160 acres along Ga. Highway 142 and Airport Road.

The property is owned by the Industrial Development Authority, which had requested the change so the state could market the tracts to industries.

The decision wasn’t a popular one for the mayor to make, with the rezoning drawing the ire of nearby residents. Three council members voted to protect the interests of those families.

While we understand that the immediate neighbors to the tracts are displeased, we feel the decision in the long run best serves the majority of county residents. This move makes the land more marketable to businesses that will provide much-needed jobs and boost the tax base.

The unemployment rate remains in double digits for Newton County, and we direly need jobs. Hats off to Mayor Carter for taking the lead.