COVINGTON — On Monday night, Covington Council held the first reading of an ordinance amending yard and height regulations for property structures, specifically regarding visibility at intersections and fences. With this possible ordinance, instead of fences or other structures in a yard being required to be placed back three feet from the property line, they could be placed “adjacent to” the property line.
“I’m all for it,” Darlene Brown of Covington said. Earlier, during the visitor portion of the council meeting, Brown discussed her desire to put up a fence on her property right away in order to keep people from walking through her yard.
“I’m tired of… guarding my yard,” Brown said.
For the regulations regarding the visibility at intersections, this ordinance would limit the height of structures, plants, or anything else to two and half feet in a yard at an intersection. This limitation is to allow drivers to see oncoming traffic.
“What we’re trying to do is avoid that blockage at the intersection,” Village Administrator Mike Busse said.
On the order of new business, the council approved Covington Chief of Police Lee Harmon hiring TJ Mullens as a full-time police officer to replace Tim Demoss, who has retired.
“We are indeed fortunate… to attract what I feel are quality individuals,” Mayor Ed McCord said.
Next on the agenda, the council approved the payment of the 75 percent completion invoice from CH2Mhill for $67,221 for the Wastewater Treatment Plant’s design.
“They have provided us with a 90 percent-completed set of drawings,” Busse said. “We are currently reviewing them.”
For the final item of new business on the agenda, the council approved an estimate of $12,706 from Ohio and Indiana Roofing to repair the Wastewater Treatment Plant’s roofing. The problem areas are the shop area roof and the digester equipment building roof, according to Busse.
While the village has only received the one estimate from Ohio and Indiana Roofing for the roof repairs, they have done work with Covington in the past. According to Busse, Ohio and Indiana Roofing is “reliable” and has done “high quality work.”
During the Village Administrator report, Busse explained that “everything was precautionary” during Covington’s recent boil advisory. The village believed that there were no hazards to general public as none of the finished wells at the Water Treatment Plant showed bacteria.
One of the well fields, though, is currently offline, Busse said. Busse said that Well Field Well 6 is the possible source of bacteria that prompted the recent boil advisory.
Council Member Doris Beeman brought up the question of how to get the word out about situations like a boil advisory.
“We used everything at our disposal with the exception of a Facebook account,” McCord said. The village of Covington does not have a Facebook page. The village contacted every media outlet, though.
“For me, when I got the call, I went around and made sure my neighbors knew,” McCord said.
Suggestions for other means of notifications included the “One Call” system, reverse 9-1-1, and posting signs next to the roads going in and out of town.
For the next item on his report, Busse explained that the driveway approaches are 90 to 95 percent complete in the Spring Street Project.
“The construction of sidewalks will continue this week,” Busse said. “Sidewalk assessment notifications were sent out last week on the Spring Street Project.”
Following Busse’s update on the Spring Street Project was an update on the 2015 Sidewalk Program. According to Busse, the work complete with the exception of seeing. The village is planning on sending out assessment notifications within the week.
“I really hope we get those out tomorrow,” Busse said.
Quarterly Emergency Services reports were also held during the council meeting Monday evening. For the second quarter of 2015, the Covington Fire Department had a total of 39 responses. Twelve of those incidents occurred in Covington, nine in Newberry Township, seven in Piqua, and one in the area of Pleasant Hill and Troy.
For Covington EMS, they had 140 incidents in the second quarter with an average response time of three minutes and 11 seconds. That response time includes a mixture of people at the station and volunteers responding from home.
“We do have 24-hour coverage,” Brad Weer of Covington EMS explained Monday evening. Covington EMS has two paid EMS workers at the station except for between 5 p.m. and 5 a.m. on Monday through Thursday nights as well as Sunday nights.
“Those are volunteer shifts,” Weer said. Response times vary as the volunteers will be responding first in their personal vehicle. Weather can also play a factor as well.
“They may not be at home,” Weer said. “They may be at Dollar General.”
“You guys do a great job,” Board Member Lois Newman said.
Weer added that Covington EMS is always looking for volunteers.
During Covington Chief of Police Lee Harmon’s report, Harmon stated that the Covington Police Department received 540 calls, of which 336 were cleared. They also completed 66 traffic warnings and made 57 arrests. There were also 24 traffic accidents during the second quarter of 2015.
“That’s almost double what they were last year,” Harmon said. In all of 2014, there were approximately 50 accidents, according to Harmon. For all of 2015 so far, there are already approximately 47 accidents.
“We’ve had a lot of accidents this year,” Harmon said. “We’ve had a couple very serious accidents here in town this last month.”
At the end of Harmon’s report, Harmon also mentioned that the 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament will be held at Covington Middle School on Saturday, July 25. There will be food and beverages sold with proceeds going towards the school.
“Anybody’s welcome,” Harmon said.
Participants need to be registered by 4 p.m. on Friday, July 24. The registration form can be found at www.covington-oh.gov/Pages/Docs/Police.aspx or by contacting the Covington Police Department at (937) 473-2102.
Reach Sam Wildow at (937) 451-3336 or on Twitter @TheDailyCall