Porterdale may annex flea market

PORTERDALE - A proposal to annex about six acres on Ga. Highway 81 could make the city limits of Porterdale and Covington contiguous.

Lamar and Barbara Sowell, owners of the Village Flea Market and two other parcels of land on Highway 81, asked the City Council at a work session Tuesday night to allow them to annex their property into the Porterdale city limits.

"We just want police and fire protection - that's the main thing," said Mr. Sowell.

City Manager Tom Fox told the council that the property has been referred to as "no man's land" in the past because it is sandwiched between Porterdale and Covington. He said there are four other owners whose property is similarly situated on the other side of Highway 81, and now might be a good time to pursue annexing those properties, as well.

"We've looked at this whole area for some time, and it probably would be wise to see if the others want to come in, too," Fox said.

Council members agreed that they would waive any annexation fees for property owners who agree to the annexation.

In addition to the Village Flea Market, the Sowells' property is the location of a wrecker service and a mobile home that is used as a residence. If annexed, all three parcels would retain the current commercial zoning, Fox said. The Sowells' annexation request is not contingent on the annexation of the other properties.

In other news, the City Council agreed in a called meeting Tuesday night to renew a joint ordinance governing emergency management between Newton County and Porterdale.

Jody Nolan of Newton County Emergency Management Administration told the council that the ordinance is renewed every four years and allows the city to be eligible for federal reimbursement in times of disaster. Mansfield, Oxford, Covington and Newborn enter the same joint ordinance with Newton EMA.

"It ensures that mutual aid from surrounding counties ... would be made available to you without question," Nolan said.

The council voted unanimously to authorize Mayor Bobby Hamby to sign the ordinance on behalf of the city.

Alice Queen can be reached at alice.queen@rockdalecitizen.com.