Newnan’s fire rating improves

by Celia Shortt

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Newnan Mayor Keith Brady gives an update on the city at the Newnan Rotary Club’s Friday meeting. 


Residents in the city of Newnan will be able to enjoy lower home insurance premiums because of an improved fire safety rating for the city. Newnan Mayor Keith Brady made the announcement at Friday’s Newnan Rotary Club meeting during his Newnan city update. The fire rating was reduced to a three. Previously, it had been four. A fire rating reflects the fire-fighting capabilities of the local fire department. “This reduction was predicated on the fact that another station will be added on the bypass,” said Brady. Brady also reported on some major projects for Newnan. One is the new public safety complex to be built on the old Hannah Homes public housing site on Jefferson Street. Brady said that the project would cost $8.5 million and be funded by Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax money.
“Our public service people continue to do a great job for us,” he said. The new complex will house all the Newnan Police Department. Currently, they are in different locations throughout the city. In addition, the complex will house a 150-seat municipal courtroom and have entrances on Jefferson Street and Augusta Drive. Its plans include space for any needed expansion. Another project Brady discussed was the University of West Georgia Hospital Redevelopment Project at the site of the old Newnan Hospital campus on Jackson Street just north of downtown. “This project is critical not only to expanding UWG’s curriculum that will be presented to students at the Newnan campus, but also critical in taking that property and making it into something for generations to come — a place for people to come to Newnan for education and also for those who can’t leave Newnan, but will still be able to get a four-year degree,” he said. To complete this $15 million project, the city will have to incur some long-term debt, something it has not had to do for a while. Brady is still optimistic. “At this point in time, the city of Newnan has no long-term debt, but it will incur some with the UWG project,” he said. “We will work diligently to work through that with fundraising and other projects.” The Newnan Hospital Board will donate all the land and give about $4.2 million toward the project. Coweta County will give slightly more than $500,000 over a 10-year period. Once the project is completed, the University System of Georgia Board of Regents will buy the complex for $5 million. The rest of the $15 million needed for completion will be debt. In his presentation, the mayor also highlighted: • The qualification for the upcoming November municipal elections begins on Monday. Mayor Brady’s post and three city council seats are open or up for re-election. Rhodes Shell’s and Ray DuBose’s seats are up for re-election. The third is a new seat that came as a result of recent redistricting, causing there to be seven city council members and the mayor on the council for two years. At the end of two years, the number of city council members will return to six. • The economy in Newnan is continuing to improve, causing an increase in the number of building permits for 2013. “At the end of August 2013, we will have surpassed the number of single-family building permits” over last year, said Brady. “We have also surpassed the number of commercial building permits. The total value of August surpassed all of 2012.” • The mayor encouraged everyone to get involved with the Keep Newnan Beautiful project. “Litter on the streets is a huge turnoff to those who live here and to those who travel here,” said Brady. “We need to put our best foot forward.” • He also highlighted other major projects the city of Newnan has been involved in this past year. Those projects include completing the 700 megahertz telecommunications project for the public safety system, completing the second phase of the Greenville Street Streetscapes project, completing the landscaping on Jackson Street, and working to complete the Jackson/Jefferson Streetscape program. • The mayor highlighted the Newnan Centre meeting facility being open and work being done on a second traffic entrance for the complex, which also includes the Coweta School System’s Centre for Performing and Visual Arts. • He gave an update on the “Five Points” intersection improvement project at the intersection of East Newnan, Poplar and Turkey Creek roads and Martin Luther King Jr. Drive. “The improvement of that intersection has to come before the interchange on 85,” he said, referring to the planned new interchange at Poplar Road. The project is a joint one between the city of Newnan and Coweta County. Current plans for improvement include implementing a traffic circle at the intersection. • Brady reported that the McIntosh Parkway project is going through the rezoning process. McIntosh Parkway is planned as an east-west corridor from the Ashley Park area into downtown Newnan.


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