During Terry Savage’s eight years with the Covington Transportation Department, he worked on several road projects. One he’s most proud of is the streetscape project which included resurfacing, widening and curbing on West Street Southwest from the light at Washington Street to Westview Cemetery. (Staff photo: Jessicah Peters)
COVINGTON — It was just eight years ago when Terry Savage joined the city of Covington as an engineering technician. Now he’s retiring as the Transportation Department’s project manager, a position he has held for a few months.
When Savage, 62, joined the department, he knew he had to work at least 10 years to invest in the city’s retirement plan.
However, after the Covington City Council approved city employees to purchase additional years of service, Savage decided it was time to retire early.
Tuesday will complete his tenure as a city employee.
“I’m purchasing 23 months of time in order to retire early,” Savage said. “I’m 62 years old, and with that and being able to sign up for Social Security, I’m set to enjoy my time with my grandkids, go fishing and hunting.”
Savage was originally hired to work for the city as an engineering technician but the department later transitioned to the Streets and Transportation Department.
He worked side by side with Billy Skinner, the city’s former transportation project manager who retired in August, to improve the roads and sidewalks of Covington.
Savage and Skinner worked closely with the Georgia Department of Transportation to carry out much-needed road improvement projects.
Savage noted his tenure included working on the Alcovy Road widening project, improvements to Eberhart Street, as well as relocating utilities for the widening project on Ga. Highway 142 and U.S. Highway 278.
“We’d go out and identify which roads need to be worked on and coordinate with the GDOT to receive funds through its programs,” Savage said.
One of the last projects Savage will be involved with is the transportation enhancement project on Clark Street, which will extend curb and gutter, bike lanes and sidewalks from a point near the Church of the Good Shepherd Episcopal to the Turner Lake roundabout.
The Clark Street project will be funded mainly through the GDOT, but 30 percent of the funds will come from the city through the 2005 special purpose local option sales tax revenue.
City Manager Leigh Anne Knight said Savage’s departure will not affect the timeline of the transportation projects.
“There should be no effect on projects as we have had our engineers involved with projects as well,” Knight said. “At this point, we have not made a decision as to the direction of this position. We will have further discussions after the new year to determine the direction.”