The Covington News - - Front page -

ad­di­tional $154,000. For a home val­ued at $100,000, the in­crease would have cost the tax­payer $39.88. Ac­cord­ing to the coun­cil, the av­er­age res­i­den­tial prop­erty of So­cial Cir­cle is val­ued at $85,000.

The plan had been to use the rev­enue from the in­creased mill­age rate to se­cure 185 acres of prop­erty along the CSX rail­road on West Hightower Road. The city would buy the land through a bank and would use the rev­enue only to pay in­ter­est on the prop­erty un­til a com­pany then pur­chased it from the city.

The Down­town De­vel­op­ment Au­thor­ity met with the Wal­ton County De­vel­op­ment Au­thor­ity in early Septem­ber to dis­cuss a pos­si­ble col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween the two to pur­chase the land. No agree­ment was reached.

Mayor James Burgess liked the ideas pro­posed by the De­vel­op­ment Au­thor­ity but agreed with the res­i­dents that it would be a poor time to make such an in­vest­ment.

“It was a good con­cept to have land bank prop­er­ties,” Mayor James Burgess said. “The tim­ing was just bad. No one likes to see taxes in­crease in the best eco­nomic times — and th­ese are not the best eco­nomic times. Our cit­i­zens told us not to raise taxes, and we’re try­ing our best to re­spond to the cit­i­zens.”

Mad­dox was not sur­prised by the vote. “They didn’t have a choice,” he said. “They want to be elected again.”

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