Public input to play major role in Newton County Parks Master Plan
COVINGTON, Georgia. – Public input will play a major role in developing a plan for the future operation of county government parks and recreation facilities, said a design specialist.
Lawrenceville-based Aaron St. Pierre of Lose Design told Newton County commissioners in a working session on Tuesday, Sept. 21 that the study of the county government’s parks and recreation facilities would also include suggestions. on how to finance new facilities.
County manager Lloyd Kerr said the plan would cost $ 93,000 but “will take us into the future.”
âIt’s something we’ve never done in this county,â Kerr said.
St. Pierre said a series of open meetings were planned where residents could participate in activities and provide informal feedback to those leading the study – rather than a more formal meeting with a speaker.
âCitizen input will be a driving force behind the recommendations of the master plan,â he said.
Open meetings to get residents’ input on what they want to see in county parks are scheduled for each county commission district in October.
â¢ October 18, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., at the Mansfield Community Center at 3158 Highway. 11 South at Mansfield (District 1);
â¢ October 21, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., at Turner Lake Park at 6185 Turner Lake Road in Covington (District 5);
â¢ October 26, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., at Turner Lake Park (District 4);
â¢ October 27, 6 pm to 8 pm, at the Newton County Sheriff’s Office, West Area 3612 Salem Road in Covington (District 3);
â¢ October 28, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Porter Memorial Library at 6191 Hwy. 212 in Covington (District 2).
St. Pierre said his company had previously assessed facilities at each of the county’s parks and interviewed parks and recreation staff.
He said the in-depth study would include an analysis of available funding and ways to generate income; and any necessary increase in staff.
An inventory of the facilities, their geographical distribution and an analysis of the existing gaps would also be included, he said.
It would also assess the demographics of the county, including possible future population changes, to determine the best locations for future parks.
The reaction of other government parks and recreation departments to trends in their communities will be included, he added.
Lose Design will release a draft report to commissioners, likely in February, St. Pierre said. He would then gather all the necessary final information and submit a final report in April 2022.
For more information, call 770-786-4373 or visit newtonrecreation.com.
Also on Tuesday, September 21, Commissioners heard a presentation from Cynthia Patterson of the Georgia Department of Community Affairs regarding rent assistance available in Newton County.
She said a total of 516 Newton County tenants applied for the money, of which 150 qualified and were given $ 1.2 million.
The other 316 were not eligible or the application was still being processed, she said.
Patterson said the financing was still available, but the landlord and tenant must complete the applications for it.
Funding would go directly to landlords and could cover up to 18 months of rent, she said.
However, those seeking the funding must prove that they are having difficulties related to COVID-19, such as becoming unemployed because of it; and they risk becoming homeless with no money, she said.
For more information, call 833-827-7368 or visit https://georgiarentalassistance.ga.gov.