Newton eligible for state funding

COVINGTON -- Newton County and its municipalities are once again eligible to receive state administered funding following verification of its service delivery strategy by the Georgia Department of Community Affairs.

DCA verified the strategy about two weeks ago and Newton County was back on the eligible list as of April 1, according to DCA Assistant Commissioner Mike Gleaton.

The county's service delivery strategy expired on Feb. 28 and it was required to have an updated strategy submitted to and verified by DCA by 5 p.m. March 1. Mandated by state law, the strategy outlines what services governments provide, how they pay for them and in what areas of the county they are provided. It serves as an intergovernmental agreement between local governments to foster effective and efficient local services.

Gleaton previously told the Citizen that he began receiving portions of Newton's service delivery strategy at around 11 a.m. on March 1 and the rest came in only minutes before the deadline. Several maps were not included in the files. When the maps were received two days late, they were illegible, he said.

As a result, Newton County and its municipalities had eligibility revoked for state administered financial assistance, grants, loans and permits. That included funding from the Georgia Department of Transportation, the Georgia Environmental Facilities Authority, the Department of Natural Resources and various other state agencies that administer state and federal funds.

The county could apply for funding but was not eligible to receive any grants during the period of ineligibility.

But Gleaton said the county is "100 percent" in compliance now and should not suffer any future repercussions due to its time on the ineligible list.

"There's no black mark or anything like that," he said.