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BOC approves another title loan business

COVINGTON — Newton County commissioners were divided about approving another title loan business for the Salem Overlay District during Tuesday’s meeting.

Chairman Keith Ellis broke the tie, agreeing with commissioners Levie Maddox and Lanier Sims to approve Andre Merkerson’s request to open Title Match USA at Suite 300 at Brown Bridge and Salem roads.

In March, the BOC approved 4-1 the conditional use permit request from Mark Friedman of Conyers to open a title loan business at 2536 Ga. Highway 81 and Salem Road.

Merkerson said he wanted to provide a short-term financial solution for residents in Newton County.

“I wanted to put it in Covington as another means for people to meet their financial needs,” Merkerson said. “My business will be an office setting and allow no cars to stay on the property.”

Title Match USA’s hours of operations will be from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday and closed on Sunday.

Commissioners John Douglas and J.C. Henderson, who voted against approval, held no discussion on why they denied the request. Nancy Schulz was absent.

In other news, the neighbors living along Roberts Road rallied against a personal care home zoning request. Leroy Mack, who was not present for the zoning hearing on Tuesday, requested a zoning change at 110 Roberts Road in order to open a personal care home with five residents and one resident manager.

The Planning Commission recommended denial because of the large neighborhood response.

Scott Miller, who lives at 95 Roberts Road, gave a presentation that described the dead-end road as peaceful and quiet.

“This change would only benefit the people at 110 Roberts Road,” Miller said. “There are more than 30 personal care homes within a 21-mile radius. This would reduce our resale ability and lowers our property values.”

Miller also pointed out the narrow road and blind spots could cause a safety hazard if emergency vehicles were to respond.

“We feel that it would open doors to other businesses at the corner if this personal care home is approved; we want to keep it a peaceful neighborhood,” Miller said.

Commissioners denied Mack’s request unanimously.