Ox­ford loses grant, hires new grant writer at coun­cil meet­ing

Solid waste plan, Cousins foot­ball field de­vel­op­ment given thumbs up

The Covington News - - Local news -

Ox­ford will have to wait at least an­other year to move for­ward on a state man­date to re­place old wa­ter lines af­ter be­ing passed over for a state grant, the City Coun­cil an­nounced at its Mon­day night meet­ing.

“We would have loved to have got­ten it. We’re go­ing to reap­ply next year,” said Mayor Jerry Rose­berry. “There’s only so much money to go around, as the state is re­mind­ing us.”

The Ge­or­gia Depart­ment of Com­mu­nity Af­fairs re­ceived 142 applications re­quest­ing $68 mil­lion dol­lars, but only had $32 mil­lion dol­lars of grants to give away. Ox­ford had ap­plied for $500,000.

The state man­dated com­mu­ni­ties have a plan in place to re­place older pipes made with a cer­tain type of a com­bined as­bestos and con­crete ma­te­rial.

Rose­berry said the city had wanted to re­place the pipes even be­fore the man­date.

“Not only there, but the main line down Emory Street,” he said.

One of the rea­sons the DCA gave for de­clin­ing the ap­pli­ca­tion was that Ox­ford’s sit­u­a­tion was not ur­gent, Rose­berry said.

Al­though the city lost out on the DCA grant, it gained a grant writer at the Mon­day meet­ing.

Su­san Dale was unan­i­mously ap­proved as the city’s new grant writer and re­searcher. Dale, a hu­man re­sources ad­min­is­tra­tor for Ox­ford Col­lege, de­scribed some of her pre­vi­ous ex­pe­ri­ence with grant writ­ing as a health­care ad­min­is­tra­tor and on the mayor’s task force for traf­fic safety in Al­bany.

The coun­cil agreed to an an­nual con­tract with a rate of $40 an hour, with an ini­tial $400 de­posit that would go to­ward the fi­nal charge per grant pro­posal. If the grant was not won, $1,000 would be cred­ited to the city for the next grant ini­tia­tive.

“My role would be to iden­tify the funds, write the grants, and se­cure the fund­ing that the coun­cil ap­proves,” Dale said.

Coun­cilmem­ber Ge­orge Holt ques­tioned whether the city would have con­trol over when and how much work Dale would do as a grant writer.

“I will need to work with some­one on de­vel­op­ing a plan on iden­ti­fy­ing the pri­or­i­ties, goals of what coun­cil wants to ac­com­plish,” Dale said. “If I don’t have that di­rec­tion, it will be spin­ning wheels.” In other busi­ness: • The City Coun­cil unan­i­mously ap­proved the Multi-ju­ris­dic­tional Solid Waste Man­age­ment Plan, which would con­sol­i­date and ex­pand the Lower River Mu­nic­i­pal Solid Waste land­fill by fill­ing in the area be­tween cur­rent pits, said Coun­cilmem­ber Hoyt Oliver. The ex­panded pit would in­clude solid waste and construction waste and be lined, which re­duces the en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pact.

• The coun­cil ap­proved a re­quest to de­velop the Cousins Cen­ter foot­ball field with a con­ces­sion stand, re­strooms and park­ing area for New­ton County Recre­ation Depart­ment pro­grams. A res­i­dent raised the ques­tion of li­a­bil­ity and polic­ing re­spon­si­bil­ity and the coun­cil de­ter­mined that the city was re­spon­si­ble for polic­ing but not li­able for events and peo­ple, since the Cousins Cen­ter is pri­vate prop­erty.

• Also ap­proved was an ap­pli­ca­tion for a child day-care at 107 Longstreet Cir­cle with less than six chil­dren.

• The coun­cil resched­uled con­sid­er­a­tion of an ap­pli­ca­tion to open a non-profit cof­fee house that would be run by the Victory Taber­na­cle Church. Ques­tions were raised about the tax sta­tus of the cof­fee house, which would be a com­mer­cial en­tity. The is­sue will be dis­cussed at the Sept. 22 work ses­sion.

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