News Line for Covington

Road work to add bike lane along Clark Street to Turner Lake Park
Road crews have been working along Clark Street near the Clark’s Grove development in Covington installing a bicycle lane and other improvements.
Source: Newton Citizen

Park planned for Covington Mills area
Neighbors called it the “Kudzu House.” Abandoned and with a massive hole in the roof, the house at 6110 Sorrell Street in the Covington Mills neighborhood north of U.S. 278 was overgrown, run down and dangerous.
Source: Covington News

Mayor: Square construction rolling
Workers began pouring concrete for the new sidewalks on the Covington Square Friday afternoon, a significant milestone for the construction project intended to make the city’s centerpiece an even prettier place.
Source: Covington News

City OKs changes for mini-warehouses
“Non-conforming” is a designation no business owner wants. It means a business can’t be rebuilt if more than 65 percent of the building is burned, or if things are put on hold for more than six months. And it makes selling such a business much more difficult.
Source: Covington News

Plan shown to City Council would create a Covington regional airport
At its Monday night meeting, the Covington City Council got a glimpse of what a Covington regional airport could look like.
Source: Newton Citizen

Newton County Q&A with Porterdale Mayor Arline Chapman
“We have seen significant development in Porterdale’s downtown commercial district this summer.
Source: Covington News

City plans high-tech ind. park at airport
You’ve heard of Savannah’s Gulfstream plane manufacturing center. Imagine something like that here. Or something better, perhaps.
Source: Covington News

Plan shown to City Council would create a Covington regional airport
At its Monday night meeting, the Covington City Council got a glimpse of what a Covington regional airport could look like.
Source: Newton Citizen

Old buildings could benefit from proposed fire code ordinance
Named for a hero of the War of 1812, Covington’s heritage dates back to its founding in 1822. Naturally, it has some buildings as old as a century or more, but that’s a charming attraction for the businesses nestled around the downtown Square and in the North Covington Historic District.
Source: Newton Citizen

Covington Square landscaping to improve downtown attractions
Last year Mayor Ronnie Johnston proposed that Covington lease its downtown Square from Newton County, which owns it.
Source: Newton Citizen

Construction begins on Square improvements
Get used to that orange fencing and construction on the Covington Square. It’ll be there a few weeks.Monday afternoon, crews began work on the city’s plan to improve the park, complete with two new walkways, repaving existing sidewalks, installing new benches and landscaping around the veterans’ memorial.
Source: Covington News

Mayor: County OKs six city members on 2050 panel
Thursday afternoon, Covington Mayor Ronnie Johnston said county officials gave a little on the city’s request for equal representation on the planned 13-member panel formed to discuss the details of the plan for the county’s growth.
Source: Covington News

State asks city to maintain more roads
The Georgia Department of Transportation has sent the city of Covington an agreement to allow local workers to maintain the State Road 142 median, as well as the landscaping at Interstate 20’s exits 90, 92 and 93. But should the city sign on? Maybe, was Monday’s City Council consensus.
Source: Covington News

County Commission aims to keep 2050 panel at 13 members
During the comments portion of Tuesday’s meeting, the Newton County Board of Commissioners declined to increase the number of members on the recently established citizens panel for the 2050 Plan baseline ordinances.
Source: Newton Citizen

‘Project Honeycomb’ gets hefty offer from city
“Project Honeycomb” is a local company interested in re-locating within the city of Covington, investing millions in new equipment and expanding its workforce. That’s all anybody not on the Covington City Council or with the Newton County Office of Economic Development knows at this point.
Source: Covington News

Covington asks for seven on 2050 panel
The Covington City Council decided to level the playing field or just not play when it comes to the 2050 Plan.
Source: Covington News

Covington cell tower approved second time around
The Covington City Council reversed a decision to deny a cell tower on Monticello Road at its Monday night meeting, voting 4-3 to approve a 169-foot tower rather than a 199-foot tower as originally proposed.
Source: Covington News

Cell tower back on council agenda
A rejected cell phone tower on Monticello Street is on the Covington City Council’s agenda again Monday, but Mayor Ronnie Johnston says it’s essentially to complete paperwork. He doesn’t expect anything to change.
Source: Covington News

CPD recognized for community relations program
The Conyers Police Department and Covington Police Department were recognized for their work in building community relations with runner-up status of the Dr. Curtis E. McClung/Motorola Award for Excellence by the Ga. Association of the Chiefs of Police, awarded July 28.
Source: Covington News

City to vote on code alternatives
The City of Covington will present some amendments to its fire code ordinance at Monday’s city council meeting after reaching a consensus on it in a work session Tuesday.
Source: Covington News

Improvement Association formed for U.S. 278 corridor
A group of business people with properties along U.S. Highway 278 have taken another step toward forming a community improvement district.
Source: Newton Citizen

Covington Explorers make high marks at regional competition
The next generation of local law enforcement officers has made a strong showing of its skills and knowledge at the 2014 Regional Law Enforcement Competition.
Source: Newton Citizen

City employees join wellness challenge to walk around the world
Nancy Harvill said people have been asking her why so many City of Covington employees are walking around town recently.
Source: Covington News

City rejects cell tower on Monticello Road
Covington Mayor Ronnie Johnston cast the tie-breaking vote to deny a controversial cell phone tower on Monticello Road Thursday night.
Source: Covington News

City to add code officer, clean up properties
Minutes after passing the city’s budget Monday night, the Covington City Council voted 4-3 to add a new code-enforcement officer to the planning and zoning department to ensure dilapidated homes and lots where homes were demolished avoid being overgrown.
Source: Covington News

Covington approves reduced millage rate
The Covington City Council adopted a reduced millage rate during its regular meeting Monday.
Source: Newton Citizen

Covington City Council denies cell tower request, despite threat of lawsuit
Mayor Ronnie Johnston cast the deciding vote Monday to deny a proposal to construct a cell tower on Monticello Street, despite a threatened lawsuit from the company.
Source: Newton Citizen

Council OKs parking change for businesses
The City Council approved a change to Covington’s parking ordinance just in time to meet the needs of a hotel developer looking to build a $20 million property in the city.
Source: Newton Citizen

City approves change in parking lot ordinance
Some new businesses coming to Covington can now have parking facing the road after a final reading was unanimously approved Tuesday evening by the Covington City Council.
Source: Covington News

City to consider fire code options
Old buildings might not meet new fire codes. But city officials are considering ways to ensure that doesn’t mean those buildings have to close their doors.
Source: Covington News

City Council agrees to light pedestrian bridge
A lighting agreement has been made for the pedestrian bridge along Ga. Highway 81 over Interstate 20 in hopes of making that walkway safer for the community.
Source: Newton Citizen

'Burn building' to help train firefighters
Training to fight a house fire isn’t easy. For one, you have to have a burning house.
Source: Covington News

City Council to research bus program plan before applying for funds
A transportation plan needs to be mulled over before the Covington City Council decides to apply for a grant from the state Department of Transportation.
Source: Newton Citizen

Monticello to be Veterans Memorial Hwy
Monday night, the Covington City Council agreed to officially designate part of Monticello Street as “Veterans Memorial Highway,” listing the names of all wars Americans have fought in since 1900.
Source: Covington News

Construction bid to be chosen for burn building
A fire training facility burn building to be used by Newton County Fire Service and the Covington Fire Department has moved one step closer to construction.
Source: Newton Citizen

City Council gives $25K for community improvement district startup
A group of business owners along the U.S. Highway 278 corridor in Covington are gaining support for a self-imposed tax to create a “community improvement district,” including approval from the Covington City Council.
Source: Newton Citizen

City to help businesses self-tax
Mayor Ronnie Johnston convinced the Covington City Council to take a “gamble” Monday and give $25,000 to the forming “commercial improvement district,” which business owners are forming along U.S. 278 to raise money for area improvements.
Source: Covington News

City’s fire ISO rating improves
Covington residents could be seeing some savings on their homeowners insurance in coming years thanks to the city’s fire protection rating improving.
Source: Covington News

Covington to lower property tax rate
Some Covington homeowners will be getting a break on their city property taxes.
Source: Covington News

Covington City Council approves $126.9M budget
The Covington City Council has approved its budget for the fiscal year 2014-15, with expenditures set at $126.4 million, which is less than anticipated revenue of $126.9 million.
Source: Newton Citizen

Swain hired as Covington transportation director
With 30 years experience working with the state Department of Transportation, Ken Swain now steps into a slower paced job as the city of Covington’s new transportation director.
Source: Newton Citizen

Changing corridors
A proposal to put a new package store on the Covington Bypass Road has spurred an in-depth discussion about the future of the city’s commercial corridors and what they will and should look like, with some officials’ modern vision for the future clashing with others’ views of what’s realistic.
Source: Covington News

Covington Public Works receives re-accreditation
The city of Covington’s Public Works Department has received of its second re-accreditation.
Source: Newton Citizen

Main Street director brings fresh eyes
With nearly a month under her belt, Covington Main Street director Velinda Wheeles has stepped up to the role, bringing new ideas to the table.
Source: Newton Citizen

Pay change could help Covington recruit
Covington has a lot of long-tenured employees, and, while that’s a good thing, it’s posing problems when the city tries to recruit and retain qualified replacements.
Source: Covington News

Council Notebook: Legion Park plans questioned
Floyd Street resident Hugh Burnett presented the Covington City Council Monday with a list of questions he and his neighbors would like to see answered before the city begins work to turn Legion Field into a public park and event space.
Source: Covington News

City police, fire departments present budget needs
Department heads at the city of Covington presented their wants and needs to the City Council at its final budget workshop meeting on Thursday.
Source: Rockdale Citizen

Council Notebook: Legion Park plans questioned
Floyd Street resident Hugh Burnett presented the Covington City Council Monday with a list of questions he and his neighbors would like to see answered before the city begins work to turn Legion Field into a public park and event space.
Source: Covington News

City purchases 97 acres on Parker's Pasture
A few purchases were made during the Covington City Council meeting on Monday, including one that was a deal that couldn’t be passed up, according to Councilman Chris Smith.
Source: Newton Citizen

City to buy 97 acres in heart of town
The Covington City Council voted to purchase a wooded 97.78-acre tract in the heart of the city that touches five separate neighborhoods and could add more connectivity to the city in the future.
Source: Covington News

Pay change could help Covington recruit
Covington has a lot of long-tenured employees, and, while that’s a good thing, it’s posing problems when the city tries to recruit and retain qualified replacements.
Source: Covington News

Senior living complex proposed
A debate over the need for more affordable senior housing broke out at the Covington City Council meeting Monday, as the Council considered whether to provide monetary support to a proposed $9 million private complex.
Source: Covington News

Former Mansfield mayor Cocchi dies
Former Mansfield mayor Bill Cocchi passed away early Friday morning after having a recent surgery.
Source: Covington News

Square landscape plan approved, but no gazebo
Changes are coming to the Covington Square park, but they don’t include a gazebo.
Source: Newton Citizen

Former mayor leaves legacy of love, leadership
For 25 years, Dr. Bill Dobbs served the city of Covington as mayor. His legacy is one of love for the community and the people he served beside for so many years.
Source: Newton Citizen

Chamber hires Main Street Covington director
Velinda Wheeles, who ran a Main Street program in Opelika, Alabama for seven years, will take over Covington’s program May 19, Covington/Newton County Chamber of Commerce President Hunter Hall announced Tuesday.
Source: Covington News

Wheeles accepts Main Street director position
Velinda Wheeles of Opelika, Ala., accepted the position as the new Main Street Covington director.
Source: Newton Citizen

Waters named municipal court judge
Covington attorney Billy Waters was sworn in as Covington Municipal Court judge last week, and the Covington City Council hopes the Newton County native will bring some stability to the position.
Source: Covington News

Chamber still seeking Main Street head
The Covington-Newton County Chamber of Commerce is on its second search this year to try and find the next director for Main Street Covington – after its first two finalists backed out for personal reasons in late February/early March – and chamber president Hunter Hall is confident one of the remaining two finalists will work out.
Source: Covington News

City Council considers sign ordinance changes
With election signs already on display around the city, the Covington City Council is taking a closer look at the sign ordinance.
Source: Newton Citizen

No rental fee set for Legion Field
Mayor Ronnie Johnston cast the deciding vote against a proposed rental agreement for the American Legion Field during Tuesday’s Covington City Council meeting.
Source: Newton Citizen

Two considered for Main Street position
Main Street Covington could have a new leader in place this week as the Covington-Newton Chamber of Commerce prepares hire one of two finalists for the job.
Source: Newton Citizen

Gazebo, square plan voted down by council
The Covington City Council voted down the proposed improvements to the square, which included a 24-foot wide gazebo, making the area around the war veterans monument paved and landscaping it with azaleas and adding benches and replacing trees, among other changes.
Source: Covington News

Covington City Council to consider use agreement for American Legion Field
A fee could soon be put in place for those who are interested in reserving the use of the American Legion Field in Covington.
Source: Newton Citizen

Gazebo gets committee’s support
The hotly-debated gazebo proposed to be built on the Covington square was sent to a committee this week for more citizen and business owner feedback.
Source: Covington News

City Council denies Twelve Oaks bride's road closure request
The spring season will bring special events to Covington, and citizens can expect to see a busy Square park and some road closures in the upcoming weeks. The City Council received four requests for downtown permits and temporary road closures.
Source: Newton Citizen

Council prolongs gazebo decision, moves forward with public restrooms
While the Covington City Council chose a company to build public restrooms downtown, they prolonged the Square’s gazebo discussion until more citizen input can be given.
Source: Newton Citizen

City Council considers park use policy
The City Council wants to establish some ground rules for those who are interested in using the American Legion Field.
Source: Newton Citizen

Gazebo idea to go to committee
The Covington City Council is not yet ready to move forward on adding a gazebo to the city’s square park.
Source: Covington News

Ribbon cut on CNG station
The City of Covington’s Green Fuels Facility, a compressed natural gas station, held its grand opening Friday
Source: Covington News

Covington Fire Department to launch explorer program
The Covington Fire Department is expanding its community outreach with an Explorer Program, open to young men and women 15-20 interested in the Fire/Medical fields as a career.
Source: Covington News

Covington FD achieves international re-accreditation
The Covington Fire Department is one of 18 departments across the country that has earned international re-accreditation.
Source: Newton Citizen

Covington City Council wary about gazebo's $55K budget
Mayor Ronnie Johnston’s push in the next phase to build a gazebo in the Square Park was tabled because some council members were wary of the costs presented.
Source: Newton Citizen

CNG fueling station opens to public
The city of Covington’s compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling station is now open to the public, and the city is planning to have an open house and grand opening April 4 at 2 p.m. at the station, which is located off City Pond Road, near the Alcovy Road intersection.
Source: Covington News

Gazebo for square could cost $55K
The gazebo Mayor Ronnie Johnston wants to see placed on the Covington square could cost $55,000, but some Covington City Council members want more information, including seeing the gazebo’s footprint physically marked out on the square, before moving forward.
Source: Covington News

Covington-Newton Chamber of Commerce to showcase community as part of annual International VIP Tour
As one of the 10 host counties for the annual International VIP Tour, Covington-Newton Chamber of Commerce will showcase the community to the Atlanta Consular Corps dignitaries, representing 26 countries, next week.
Source: Newton Citizen

Bill would reduce early voting days in cities
A bill seen by some as an attempt to chill voter turnout and by others as a way to help municipalities control their election costs has passed the state House and awaits debate in the Senate.
Source: Rockdale Citizen

Chamber to test out tourism trolley
The Covington-Newton County Chamber of Commerce is giving a trial run to a trolley that would be used by businesses and during special events to promote tourism.
Source: Covington News

Main Street Covington makes transition under Chamber
With the Main Street Covington program moving under the Covington-Newton Chamber of Commerce, President Chamber Hunter Hall said it is one step closer to naming a director and moving forward with the transition.
Source: Newton Citizen

Covington City Council updates human resources policy
In efforts to improve the city of Covington’s human resources policy, the City Council approved the addition of two new guidelines to the handbook.
Source: Newton Citizen

Covington begins design phase to fix drainage problems
The wet winter season isn’t helping the drainage problems in two Covington neighborhoods.
Source: Newton Citizen

City tackling big water, drainage projects
The Covington City Council took some steps Monday to tackle some major water projects around town, including replacing 100-year-old water pipes and fixing some flooding issues in city neighborhoods.
Source: Covington News

Downtown tourist package in works
Covington’s tourists will soon be getting an all-access pass to downtown.
Source: Covington News