Robert Fox­worth re­ceives key to city

The Covington News - - NEWS - SAN­DRA BRANDS sbrands@covnews.com

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.

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