Robert Foxworth receives key to city
Mayor Ronnie Johnston prefaced the Covington City Council meeting Wednesday evening by presenting Robert Foxworth with a key to the city in appreciation of the latter’s work staging the Independence Day on the Square fireworks.
“This is very special for me, personally, and I know it is for the Council,” Johnston said. “We’ve been very fortunate to have this gentleman, who knows and loves fireworks.”
Johnston said that the fireworks display near the Covington Square celebrating the Fourth of July was moving and brought tears to his eye. “I didn’t know what [the Fourth] met until I met Robert. There were about 10,000 people there. I guarantee there weren’t that many people [in Covington for the Fourth] five or 10 years ago.
“I want to thank you, thank your family,” he said. “We appreciate all you’ve done.”
Johnston said Foxworth had collected more than $26,000 in donation for fireworks. The city contributed another $10,000. (See “Covington’s Fourth of July celebration to be bigger, brighter this year,” at http://www.covnews.com/section/1/ article/201425/).
Foxworth expressed his gratitude for being able to stage the fireworks display, and promised, “Next year will be bigger than this year.”
Later, during closing comments, all of the city council members and City Manager Leigh Anne Knight expressed their appreciation of Foxworth and his team’s fireworks display.
NEIGHBORHOOD CLEANUP SET
The city announced earlier that a neighborhood cleanup had been scheduled for the Short Street Community, also known as Stone Mountain Street, on Saturday, July 16 from 8 a.m. to noon. The city will provide free dumpster for debris removal and called for volunteers from throughout the city to help. Volunteers will meet at Murray Christian Methodist Episcopal (CME) Church, 4100 West Street Northwest, Covington.
Neighborhood activist Thelma Starr Nolley, who has repeatedly encouraged the council to reintroduce regular pick up of large items such as furniture, expressed her disappointment that she had not been notified of the cleanup, saying, “I felt like nobody. But I know God doesn’t think I’m nobody.”
Both Johnston and Council Member Hawnethia Williams apologized for not talking with Starr before the announcement was made.
“I want you to hear from me — we did make some communications errors,” Johnston said. “This will soon be forgotten as we continue to build on this program that you started. I hope people who saw the brochures will hear this: ‘Thank you, Miss Starr, for bringing this to us.”
Williams offered kudos to Starr for her activism with her apology. “We were thinking ahead without thinking. We know you love your community and will participate in whatever your community is doing. I know you’ll hold hands with your community and walk with them. Thank you for all you’ve done.”
Johnston said the cleanup effort was part of why the city created Covington Cares, a new program that is sponsoring the Short Street Community Clean Up.
According to Communications Manager Trey Sanders in an interview following the meeting, Covington Cares is in its infancy. Plans for the program include reading to children, helping people looking for jobs with their resumes and improving interview skills, and neighborhood clean ups.
The program is just starting, he said, the July 16 cleanup is one of the program’s first efforts.
A short time later, the city approved the closing of Brisco Street between Golf and Robinson on Saturday, July 30 between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. for a Short Street Community neighborhood fellowship. David Anderson, who applied for the closure, told the council that the fellowship is for past and present members of the Short Street neighborhood and would include vendors, food, games and music.
“The benefits will be so great and there will be no harm done to the community, but instead, this event will be an opportunity for the neighborhood to come together as a whole for fun, food and fellowship,” Anderson wrote in his proposal, which he presented to the council Wednesday night.
The road closure was approved unanimously.
THE COUNCIL ALSO:
Approved a request for the closing of Church Street from Washington to Reynolds on Thursday plus the closing of parking spaces beginning midnight, July 14, and the closing of Reynolds between Monticello and Church plus additional parking spaces until 11:59 p.m. on Friday, July 15. The request was made by Bonanza Productions of Conyers for filming of the second part of “Coat of Many Colors,” the TV movie based on a Dolly Parton song. According to the request, sections of parking spaces will be released as filming is completed. Approved the closing of the street corner of Washington and Brown Street for the Back to School Bash on Saturday, July 30 from 1 to 6 p.m. Accepted a bid from ElectriCom, LLC, for $166,969 for the relocation of utilities at the intersection of State Route 36 and Henderson Mill Road as part of a Department of Transportation project widening State Route 36. Approved an intergovernmental agreement with Newton County for repairs and improvements to a storm water facility at 10665 Highway 278, and agreed to provide materials to repair the access drive and airport pavement at an estimated $8,660. The county, in turn, will provide the labor and equipment for the repairs. Accepted a bid from Peach State Construction Company for $41,055 for removal of 230-feet of 18-inch storm drain pipe and reconstruction from Clarks Street to Washington Street. Approved an ordinance that would add rental of construction, mining and forestry equipment to the real estate and rental and leasing category of the city’s zoning, and to include corrugated and solid fiber box manufacturing in the Manufacturing-2 (M2) zoning district. Set a work session for July 25 at 5:30 p.m.