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County retreat set for Burge

COVINGTON -- Newton County commissioners will hold their annual retreat at Burge Plantation in Mansfield.

The retreat will take place from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Feb. 20 and 21.

The cost of the retreat is $28.80 per person per day, according to County Clerk Jackie Smith. She estimated that between 12 and 15 people will attend. The cost includes breakfast, lunch and snacks.

Smith said that Burge owner Sandy Morehouse is not charging to rent the meeting room, but only for meals.

The retreat will be facilitated by Jim Dove, executive director of the Northeast Georgia Regional Center, at no cost to the county, according to the county's Executive Assistant, John Middleton.

An agenda has not yet been finalized for the retreat, Middleton said.

Chairman Kathy Morgan previously told the Citizen that she planned to try to keep the retreat local due to the economic climate. Morgan said she had received calls from several commissioners who asked to stay local.

"I'm doubtful we'll leave the county, even though as a rule of thumb that is a positive way to build camaraderie, which is what we're trying to do, but I just don't feel like we have that luxury," she said in a January interview.

Morgan said commissioners will be discussing what issues they want to prioritize in the new year and looking at potential impacts to the 2011 fiscal year budget.

"We're trying to get the Board of Commissioners to unite and think about the interests of the entire county and then look at their districts. Compromises have to be made ... We've got to diversify our funding throughout the county," she said.