Iconic well re­built

City con­tin­ues its strate­gic plan­ning at an­nual re­treat

The Covington News - - FRONT PAGE - BRYAN FAZIO bfazio@cov­news.com

So­cial Cir­cle’s well, which was de­stroyed in a crash, has been re­con­structed. The city also has plans to build a new fire sta­tion.

A new fire sta­tion is set to go up in So­cial Cir­cle be­fore the end of the year.

The city held its an­nual re­treat last weekend and con­tin­ued work on its strate­gic plan. The plan, orig­i­nally in­sti­tuted in 2011 and set to run through 2021, was ex­tended to go through 2022 af­ter Fri­day and Satur­day’s meet­ings.

Each year the city goes over the plan and bud­gets out what will be ac­com­plished through­out the next 12 months. This year, So­cial Cir­cle will work on some of the things it wasn’t able to ac­com­plish in 2013, and con­tinue on SPLOST projects.

Among the items on the agenda is build­ing the fire sta­tion on 5 acres ad­ja­cent to the Gen­eral Mills fa­cil­ity on East Hightower Trail, ac­cord­ing to Mayor Hal Dally. The land was do­nated to the city by Gen­eral Mills. Other projects sched­uled are work­ing on the side­walk on East Hightower and re­plac­ing some of the lift sta­tions.

“The process from this point for­ward is to look at the items and see what it would take to get done in the fis­cal bud­get,” Dally said. “We’ll spend from now un­til the end of April work­ing on get­ting it down to a man­age­able num­ber.”

So­cial Cir­cle has been for­mu­lat­ing th­ese an­nual plans to hit its strate­gic goals since a bus tour of the city with newly elected of­fi­cials in 2011. Shortly af­ter that, the of­fi­cials gath­ered for a re­treat for the first time in Jan­uary 2012. Ever since, the city has been pro­gress­ing for be­yond 2020.

One of the fi­nal pieces to the strate­gic puz­zle is a new li­brary, which will be built at the site of the old Wel­come Inn struc­ture and land at 184 S. Chero­kee Road, which was pur­chased in Jan­uary. City man­agers were await­ing re­sults of as­bestos test­ing be­fore the build­ing could be de­mol­ished. Based on those re­sults, the city will be able to clear the land sooner than orig­i­nally thought.

“The re­sults came back bet­ter than ex­pected,” Dally said. “There’s one area with as­bestos need­ing to be cleared be­fore it’s de­mol­ished. It couldn’t have come out much bet­ter than that.”

Sub­mit­ted photo/The Cov­ing­ton News

The City of So­cial Cir­cle has long been known for its well, and the well’s re­con­struc­tion was com­pleted Thurs­day. The well was de­mol­ished Jan. 4 when it was crashed into by a mo­torist.

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