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Covington city retreat set for Tuesday

COVINGTON — An expansive list of items are on the table for discussion at the city of Covington’s annual retreat set for Tuesday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Newton College and Career Academy.

City Manager Leigh Anne Knight said since it is only a one-day event, she’s unsure whether there will be enough time to discuss all the items.

The retreat agenda includes mulling over the Covington Mill property, the sign ordinance, board appointments, water lines update, planning and zoning, human resources, financial review, and project and strategic plan reviews.

Since Covington is part of Newton County’s 2050 Plan, which identifies five new compact communities that will need to be zoned to allow more growth, along with large areas of timber and farmland to be conserved, the retreat will give the council the opportunity to update the plan’s needs for the next two, three and five years.

The retreat’s agenda also notes there will be talks on ideas for keeping members of the council informed of relevant topics, and discussing the working relations with the mayor, council members and city manager.

Councilman Chris Smith said he added many of the agenda items and he looks forward to exploring different options for the Covington Mill property.

“I am excited about our retreat next week. During my re-election bid, when I was walking the Covington Mill area, several people asked me what was going to happen to the Moser property,” Smith said. “They asked if is there any way that the city could possibly turn the property into a city park? I would like to explore the possibility of that happening.”

The meeting will be facilitated by consultant Tom Quist of the Carl Vinson Institute of Government. Knight said the only cost for the retreat will be $1,700 for the facilitator and the food provided for the day.

The public is invited to attend and listen to the council’s discussions. Newton College and Career Academy is located at 144 Ram Drive, Covington.