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City retreat to be at FFA camp

COVINGTON -- The city of Covington will hold its annual retreat at the local FFA-FCCLA Center off Ga. Highway 36 on March 17-19.

The cost will be $28 per person for the entire 21/2 day event, according to City Manager Steve Horton. Between 10 and 15 people are expected to attend, he said.

The first day, only the mayor and council are expected to attend, according to Amanda Edge with the city's Human Resources Department. The following two days, 13 people are expected to attend. Those attending only on Thursday and Friday will pay $26 per person, Edge said.

Based on those numbers, the retreat will cost about $350, including meals.

Horton said he will pay for a dinner scheduled for March 17 out of his own pocket.

The city will pay the Centre for Strategic Management in Conyers to facilitate the event. Previously, the charge was $5,000 but Horton said the consultant has indicated a willingness to lower that cost.

The retreat will take place from 1 to 5 p.m. March 17 and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. March 18 and 19.

The city had previously contracted with Brasstown Valley Resort and Spa in Young Harris for the retreat at a cost of about $3,500, not including meals.

After months of public criticism, Horton got a consensus from the council last week to cancel that contract. The city will still be required to pay a $1,962 cancellation fee. Horton was able to get the fee -- initially nearly $4,000 -- reduced by half.