Covington council approves tax budget


Police cruiser totaled in recent accident

By Sam Wildow - swildow@aimmedianetwork.com



COVINGTON — Covington Council met for a brief meeting Monday evening, during which they approved the 2018 tax budget.

Village Administrator Mike Busse explained that, when preparing the yearly tax budget, the village has to assume that they will spend every budgeted item in the previous year, even though that is not what actually ends up happening.

“We never do that,” Busse said. “We always have carry over in almost every account.”

With that in consideration, the tax budget anticipates a total 2017 year-end balance of approximately $543,450. The total 2018 estimated income before transfers and bonds is expected to be $2,892,985. With transfers, that increases to $3,087,985. The total estimated expenses for 2018 is estimated at $3,330,985. The total 2018 estimated ending fund balance is expected to be $300,450.

Later during the meeting, the council received the news that one of the village’s police cruisers was totaled after a recent rear-end collision.

“The cruiser was stopped in traffic, and somebody didn’t see them stopped (and) ran into the rear of it,” Busse said about the May 24 accident. Busse said that the village worked with their insurance company and received a check from the company for approximately $4,860 after they found out that cruiser was a total loss.

“We opted to keep the damaged vehicle for parts,” Busse said.

The village will be replacing the cruiser with a 2017 Ford Explorer that is already on order. Busse said that they hope to be using it by mid-July.

The council also heard a number of updates from Busse on ongoing village projects.

The village’s Safe Routes to School project is still underway.

“We have complete the new curb on Chestnut Street. We are continuing to work on the Chestnut Street sidewalks,” Busse said. Once Chestnut Street is finished, Ludlow Street will be next.

The 2017 sidewalk project is continuing with J&J Stampworks completing several sections of High Street’s sidewalks.

“They are aware of the July 1 deadline for completion,” Busse said.

The village is also looking to evaluate the condition of asphalt streets in Covington. Busse explained that he contacted Midwest Pavement Analysis to complete the analysis. They will provide a report on the condition of the streets, along with a cost analysis for the repairs for those streets, Busse said. The village can then utilize this report to update their plan for pavement repairs. The cost for the analysis from Midwest Pavement Analysis is $3,250.

In the downtown, the High Street patio was completed. The fencing of the patio was done by Hess Fence in Versailles at a cost of $1,650.

Busse also updated the council on how village employees are working on cleaning up the downtown.

“The staff’s been working on the removal of weeds and vegetation from the downtown area,” Busse said. “We will also be completing some spraying of curb areas later this month.”

Customers in the area’s gas aggregation program will be getting another letter about the program due to a minor technicality. The program’s supplier Constellation Energy assigned the village’s gas aggregation agreement to their subsidiary Constellation NewEnergy-Gas Division, so they will be notifying customers of the name change for the supplier.

“It doesn’t change the terms of the agreement,” Busse said, noting that the name change for the supplier will not result in any changes to the price or contract details.

Online bill payment services for village utility customers are also expected to be available in July. Busse explained that the online utility bill viewing and payment services are expected to ready on July 10 via a new link on the village website at covington-oh.gov.

“Once registered, utility customers will have the ability to view their bills, both current and past, and they’ll be able to make payments using a credit card or their checking account,” Busse said.

Covington Chief of Police Lee Harmon updated the council on a couple of community events taking place this summer. On June 28, there will be a Safety Day held for kindergarten through third grade students at the K-8 building from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. On July 29, the Covington Police Department’s annual basketball tournament will take place, starting at 8 a.m. Registration is available on the village’s website and in their office.

Mayor Ed McCord also reminded the council that there will be no council meeting on July 3, due to the Independence Day holiday. The next council meeting will take place on July 17, at the municipal building, located at 1 S. High St.

Police cruiser totaled in recent accident

By Sam Wildow

swildow@aimmedianetwork.com

Reach Sam Wildow at swildow@aimmedianetwork.com or (937) 451-3336

Reach Sam Wildow at swildow@aimmedianetwork.com or (937) 451-3336