Cov­ing­ton to dis­cuss SPLOST, pet li­censes, park­ing on Mon­day

The Covington News - - Local News - By Gabriel Khouli

The Cov­ing­ton City Coun­cil will be dis­cussing its list of 2011 SPLOST projects and the county’s pro­posed an­i­mal li­cens­ing fee, as well as hav­ing the fi­nal read­ing of its pro­posed park­ing and out­door burn­ing or­di­nances at its 6: 30 p. m., Mon­day meet­ing at city hall.

Cov­ing­ton re­quested a fi­nal list of $ 16.53 mil­lion in SPLOST projects to the county this week, but the list is likely to be trimmed down. Some of the coun­cil pre­vi­ously expressed op­po­si­tion to the place­ment of a $ 3 mil­lion request for a new city hall, which has since been re­moved.

County Chair­man Kathy Mor­gan pre­vi­ously asked the coun­cil for feed­back on the county’s pro­posed an­i­mal li­cens­ing fee, which would help fund Newton County An­i­mal Con­trol and al­low the county to cre­ate a data­base of pets to en­sure that all dogs and cats re­ceive ra­bies vac­ci­na­tions.

Li­censes would be re­quired to be pur­chased an­nu­ally for all cats and dogs older than six months of age. Li­censes for spayed or neutered an­i­mals would cost $ 10 per an­i­mal and $ 25 for an­i­mals that were not spayed or neutered. The county has re­ceived largely neg­a­tive feed­back, but the cities were also asked to gather feed­back and present it to the county.

The fi­nal read­ing of a re­vised park­ing or­di­nance will be voted on Mon­day, which will limit ve­hi­cles that can be parked in res­i­den­tial ar­eas to those that weigh 14,000 pounds or less. The or­di­nance will ap­ply to pas­sen­ger, com­mer­cial and recre­ational ve­hi­cles; how­ever, ve­hi­cles of any size can be parked in­side an en­tirely en­closed struc­ture. Con­struc­tion ve­hi­cles will not be al­lowed.

The coun­cil will also vote on the fi­nal read­ing of an or­di­nance that will more clearly reg­u­late out­door burn­ing in the city of Cov­ing­ton. The cur­rent or­di­nance is vague and Cov­ing­ton Fire Chief Don Floyd said he has not felt com­fort­able is­su­ing any per­mits pre­vi­ously. How­ever, res­i­dents are al­lowed to ap­ply for per­mits, and the pro­posed or­di­nance will en­sure out­door burn­ing is con­ducted safely, Floyd said.

Sev­eral items are not al­lowed to be burned, in­clud­ing any plas­tics or other petroleum-based prod­ucts or garbage. Also, burn­ing is not al­lowed on windy days, nor is burn­ing in a bar­rel al­lowed.

Recre­ational fires must be kept at least 25feet from a struc­ture or any com­bustible ma­te­rial, while the burn­ing of yard waste must be kept at least 50-yards away from struc­tures. Penal­ties will be is­sued for res­i­dents who break these or­di­nances, up to $ 1,000 for re­peat of­fend­ers.

Fi­nally, Clara Deemer, tourism di­rec­tor at the cham­ber of com­merce, will give an update on lo­cal tourism ef­forts and de­scribe the ben­e­fits of tourism.

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