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Our thoughts...Railroad purchase
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There certainly has been controversy involving the possible purchase of the Norfolk Southern rail line which traverses Newton County.

The price for the total property is $1.8 million dollars; there is some grant money for that purchase that is to be provided by the Federal Government.

Recently, the city council of Covington voted no on contributing to the purchase of this valuable corridor of land. We feel that vote was taken for political reasons only.

In voting no, we feel there was no thought about the future development of the city or county and no good business sense used.

Kathy Morgan, chairman of the BOC, made it clear recently that the county had spent more for less land in purchasing rights of way for intersections.

Mayor Roger Sheridan of Newborn has spearheaded renewed efforts to see that this land be purchased and then preserved for the future use for the betterment of the citizens of Newton County.

It's true that the trail folks are supporting the purchase of the railroad property, and why not? It would make a great trail; their interest should not derail the purchase of this property.

The development of the railroad property for bike trails has not been officially proposed for this property - it has only been a dream by some bike enthusiasts and their supporters.

So that should not be the reasoning used in order not to purchase this valuable property.

We urge the city of Covington council to reconsider this purchase and the county and the rest of the cities and towns of Newton County should be prepared to pay their share of the purchase also. You don't get this type of opportunity every day - to wrest land from the railroad at a decent price.