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Covington on display for bus tour

Photo by Howard Reed

Photo by Howard Reed

COVINGTON -- The heart of Covington will be on display for some very important people Wednesday.

Downtown Covington will be featured on the Heart and Soul of Georgia bus tour hosted by the Georgia Municipal Association and Georgia Cities Foundation. Ten Georgia cities along Interstate 20 East and U.S. Highway 78 have been selected for the tour, which will take place April 13-15. State agency heads, business leaders, downtown developers and philanthropists totaling approximately 50 will converge on downtown Covington at about 11:30 a.m. The purpose of the tour is to showcase cities that are revitalizing and capitalizing on their downtowns.

"The Foundation's goal is to help cities through successful public-private partnerships and we'll show 10 very good examples of cities that have been successful in creating wonderful downtowns and vibrant communities through such partnerships," said Georgia Cities Foundation President Mike Starr.

Participants will tour the Newton County Historic Courthouse and take a walking tour of downtown Covington, and will have lunch featuring food from local restaurants at the Newton County Administration Building before departing for their next stop at approximately 1:40 p.m.

Other downtowns featured on the tour are Conyers, Monroe, Athens, Watkinsville, Greensboro, Washington, Augusta, Thomson and Madison.

The bus tour began in 2001 as an effort to educate and inform state leaders on the importance of successful downtown development and its role in supporting overall economic development efforts for regions and communities. Covington was also featured on the 2003 tour.

In 2010 the Georgia Cities Foundation unveiled Green Communities Fund loan program and was designated as a Community Development Financial Institution by the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

The Georgia Cities Foundation has raised nearly $25 million for a revolving loan pool to support downtown projects valued at more than $100 million.