COVINGTON — Residents will be voting on a street levy in May after the Covington Council unanimously approved requesting the levy be put on the ballot during their regular meeting Monday evening.
The proposed street levy would be for 3 mills for five years. The council approved an ordinance requesting the Miami County Board of Elections place the levy on the May ballot, which was approved after holding three readings.
“This proposed levy would be used to partially fund our street resurfacing projects for the next five years,” Village Administrator Mike Busse said.
The county auditor certified that the total current tax valuation of the village is $41,629,880, and the dollar amount of revenue that would be generated by the 3-mill levy would be approximately $124,889 annually.
“Every dollar that is collected … will be used for street maintenance,” Mayor Ed McCord said about the proposed levy. “It will not be used for anything else.”
Busse said that this levy would augment their street funds in order complete a number of street projects and that the village would spend more than what the levy generates to improve streets.
A report from Midwest Pavement Analysis previously identified $2,139,154 worth of current needs for street maintenance.
There has been no alley resurfacing done in the last seven years due to budget shortfalls. Covington currently has no dedicated levy for street maintenance.
A home valuation of $75,000 would pay $39.38 per half or approximately 22 cents per day. A home valuation of $100,000 would pay $52.50 per half or approximately 29 cents per day.
Earlier in their meeting, the council along with Tom Carter, president of the Covington Chamber of Commerce, recognized winners of the holiday home-decorating contest.
“We had 18 participants. We had three nights of judging,” McCord said. “The voting was close … People did a great job.”
The winners each won a cash prize $250 and $50, which the Covington Chamber of Commerce donated. The winners from first to fifth place included Adam and Brooke VonAsckew on North Main Street, Tracy McMaken on Adam Street, Robert and Mary Beth Rich on East Walnut, Dale White on Harrison Street, and Jim Rench and family on State Route 48.
The village will be posting signs in the yards of the winners.
“I was very impressed with the different displays,” Carter said.
Later during their meeting, the council voted to accept a $45,000 donation from Roy Weikert of Greenville.
McCord read from a letter addressed to the village of Covington that was sent to the village with the donation, which said, “I celebrated my 104th birthday this year and decided to make an early distribution of some of my investment assets. Having observed the good work and benefit that you and your organization provide to the community, I wish to make a distribution to the organization at this time of the year.”
The letter went on to read, “It is my hope that these unrestricted funds will allow you to continue to carry out your mission and do the good work in the community that your organization does through the year.”
“Merry Christmas,” McCord said, adding later, “It’s very nice of him to do that.”
Busse said that the village was not aware that someone was considering donating those funds to the village. There are no current plans for what the donation will be used.
The council also approved an 11-year contract with Utility Service Co., Inc., also referred to as Suez, for full maintenance of the village’s large water tower.
The cost for the first year will be $1,500; for the second year through the fifth year will be $60,000 annually; for the sixth year through the 10th year will be $113,552; and the last year of the contract will cost $35,771. Annual adjustments after the end of that contract will be a maximum increase of 5 percent.
The contract includes the complete restoration of the tower in addition to annual maintenance.
The village will also be sending out letters to delinquent taxpayers who failed to file village income taxes for 2016.
“This letter is intended to be a final notice before we begin the process of filing charges in municipal court,” Busse said. He said that the village has sent out previous notices to delinquent taxpayers, but the recipients of these letters are individuals who have failed to communicate with the village.
The council also approved a temporary budget for 2018 after waiving the three-reading rule for the ordinance. The final 2018 budget will be presented to the council in January.
The first meeting in January was rescheduled to Jan. 2, and is set to begin at 6:45 p.m. for the council to appoint three new members to the council. The regular meeting will follow afterward at 7 p.m.
The meeting will be held at the municipal building, located at 1 S. High St. For more information, the village can be contacted at (937) 473-2102.
Reach Sam Wildow at firstname.lastname@example.org or (937) 451-3336