BOC ap­proves Gaithers plan

The Covington News - - Local News - By Rachel Oswald

A mas­ter plan for the de­vel­op­ment of Gaithers Plan­ta­tion calls for more fes­ti­vals at the site, a new mu­seum and a full-time site di­rec­tor.

Plan­ning con­sul­tants with Jor­dan, Jones & Goulding pre­sented their mas­ter plan for the de­vel­op­ment of Gaithers, over a pe­riod of years, to the New­ton County Board of Com­mis­sion­ers at its Tues­day night meet­ing.

Char­lotte Web­ber, a con­sul­tant with the firm, listed a num­ber of events that could take place at Gaithers once the site is prop­erly de­vel­oped such as folk­lore demon­stra­tions, a mys­tery din­ner theater, arts and crafts fes­ti­vals, na­ture walks and Christ­mas can­dle­light tours.

The plan rec­om­mends that a 5,000 square foot mu­seum, stor­ing his­toric farm equip­ment, be built on site. The plan fur­ther rec­om­mends the en­trance to Gaithers be shifted slightly to the north to bring vis­i­tors in through the Cross­roads Vil­lage.

Ex­panded wild­flower fields, hik­ing trails and the plant­ing of crops which would have his­tor­i­cally been grown on the plan­ta­tion are also rec­om­mended in the plan.

The cost of fully im­ple­ment­ing the Gaithers Mas­ter Plan is es­ti­mated to be $3 mil­lion. An­drea Grecko, a land­scape ar­chi­tect with JJ&G, rec­om­mended the county pur­sue 501(c)3 sta­tus for the Friends of Gaithers to al­low the or­ga­ni­za­tion to ap­ply for grants in the de­vel­op­ment of the for­mer plan­ta­tion.

In other BOC news:

The BOC re­newed its con­tract for an­other year with Oconee Metal Re­cov­ery for the sale of scrap metal col­lected at county re­cy­cling cen­ters and at the Lower River Road Land­fill. • Oconee Metal will pay $.06 per pound. The price is an in­crease from the $.03 per pound Oconee pre­vi­ously paid to the county. The in­crease in price is the re­sult of ris­ing de­mand world­wide for scrap metal.

En­vi­rowaste Equip­ment Inc.’s low bid of $27,268 was ac­cepted by the board for the re­place­ment of four tarp sys­tems for the roll-off trucks at the land­fill.

The board ap­proved a $36,524 con­tract with Gov­ern­ment Sys­tems Inc. for new tax ap­praisal soft­ware and the in­stal­la­tion and train­ing hours to op­er­ate the new soft­ware.

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