Council hears emergency service reports

By Sam Wildow -

COVINGTON — Covington Council heard the annual emergency service annual reports for 2016 during their meeting Monday evening.

For the Covington Police Department, they had over 6,000 incidents to which they responded. There were 421 total arrests, 356 traffic stops, 264 traffic citations issued, 23 arrest warrants executed, and 24 parking citations.

“We’re a little bit up over all,” Police Chief Lee Harmon of the Covington Police Department said about the 2016 annual report in comparison to 2015. Harmon said the increase in parking citations was due the village revamping the parking ordinance.

The Covington Police Department also conducted approximately 21,000 business checks. Volunteer officers donated 556 hours to the department, and officers underwent a total of 500 hours of training. Harmon said that officers were required to undergo around 11 hours of training each in 2016 and that amount of training is expected to increase to 20 hours in 2017.

For Covington Fire and Rescue Inc., Chief Bart Weer went over some highlights for the organization in 2016. Those included the merger of fire and emergency medical services (EMS), a new fire engine, the renovation of living quarters to allow for employees to stay overnight, moving operations into one facility, 24/7 EMS staffing, and receiving the Insurance Service Office (ISO) rating for the village.

Weer also noted the retirements of longtime members Bob Weer, who retired after 46 years, and Doug Haines, who retired after 44 years.

On the fire side of the organization, they responded to 191 incidents in 2016. They also had approximately 1,694 training hours, an average response time of around five and a half minutes, and five fire inspections. Their busiest day and time for 2016 was on Friday at around 6 p.m.

On the EMS side of the organization, their average response time was around two and a half minutes and they responded to 543 calls for service.

“That number is down from 2015,” Assistant Rescue Chief Brad Weer said, attributing the drop to fewer mutual aid calls.

They are also working on getting a new ambulance in June that would replace an old one that is over 20 years old and on its second engine.

“We have started an ambulance fundraiser,” Brad Weer said.

The cost of that ambulance will be approximately $267,000.

Following the emergency service reports, David Larson, director of Curriculum and Instruction at Miami County Educational Service Center, spoke on behalf of the P.L.U.S. 5k run/walk that will be held in Covington on March 18 at 9 a.m. Registration begins at 7:45 a.m. that day. The race will start and finish at St. John’s Lutheran Church, corner of East Bridge and Wall streets.

The council approved the route of the run. The run is organized and operated by P.L.U.S., Parents Learning to Understand Students, and all proceeds benefit Covington fifth and sixth grade overnighter.

Mayor Ed McCord then discussed village income tax assistance. Staff from the St. Mary’s Department of Taxation will be at the government center, 1 S. High St., to assist Covington residents with questions on March 21 from 1-4 p.m., on April 4 from 6-8 p.m., and April 8 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Residents who attend one of those sessions should bring their W-2s and a copy of their federal tax return, the 1040 form.

Village Administrator Mike Busse also told the council that the Ohio Public Works Commission approved the village for a zero percent interest loan of $150,000 for pump station renovations.

The council also heard the first reading of a resolution to purchase a 2017 police cruiser and finance it through a $34,000 loan with Covington Savings and Loan. The interest rate would be 3.09 percent for a total cost of approximately $36,060.

The council also approved the following legislation during their meeting:

• Entering into an agreement with the Ohio Attorney General’s office for the collection of delinquent income taxes

• Approving and accepting the tax rates as determined by the Miami County Budget Commission for 2016

• Approving and adopting the American Legal Publishing’s Ohio Basic Code, 2017 edition

• Authorizing Busse to auction off surplus property on Gov deals, including discarded water meters and a 2001 Dodge pickup

• Authorizing Busse to apply for a Natureworks grants the Ohio Department of Natural Resources for new playground equipment

• Approving a 50 cent pay increase for village employee Ricky Stephan for passing his wastewater #1 license test

The next council meeting will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 21, at 7 p.m. due to observing President’s Day on the council’s regular meeting night.

By Sam Wildow

Reach Sam Wildow at or (937) 451-3336

Reach Sam Wildow at or (937) 451-3336