Dip in the road
Progress on the new proposed Covington/Newton civic center took a dip in the road to completion after some members of the community with backgrounds in finance challenged the optimistic forecast presented by the Merchant Capital investment banking firm.
The original scenario projected that a tax surplus of $19.9 million would be reached by 2040. After the challenge, a moderate scenario of $405,000 was projected by Merchant Capital.
First, we owe a debt of gratitude to the concerned citizens who questioned the original projections. We are not pleased that Merchant Capital did not present a best and worst case scenario. However, in the company’s defense it is almost impossible to reviewand forecast that far ahead with our fast-changing economic climate
In spite of this hiccup, $405,859 is not a bad surplus. We still believe the proposed civic center project is not only a plus but essential for the survival and future growth of the downtown area and the future positive development of Newton County.
Covington/Newton County could and should become the center of a new Metro area stretching almost to Augusta.
The new civic center would attract people from those outlying areas, who will spend their money in our community. This money will keep taxes down and help drive our local economy. We need an arena that our growing arts community can call home. So if local government only has a surplus of $405,859, it’s still a plus. We simply want our elected officials to proceed carefully with all undertakings of this measure and expense.
The bottom line is that millions of dollars eventually will be left behind in our community by tourists and lovers of the arts who will have been glad to enjoy the same ambiance and graciousness, which we take for granted.