Village administrator updates council on projects

By Sam Wildow -

COVINGTON – It was a light evening for the village of Covington Council during their meeting on Monday. Village Administrator Mike Busse updated the council and the attendees on the various projects going on in town along with new projects coming up, including the 2016 Sidewalk Program and the sewer plant.

“On the Spring Street Project, VTF’s completed the seeding with the exception of a couple of areas that were not yet final graded,” Busse said. Busse explained that those spots will be finished approximately sometime next week.

“We do have a walk-around with VTF on Thursday afternoon to look at a couple of areas,” Busse said. Busse said that VTF also has a couple of concrete items to complete.

“The 2016 Sidewalk Program, I have included the spreadsheet of proposed sidewalks for council’s review,” Busse said. “If approved by council, I’ll mark the sidewalks and send letters to the affected property owners.”

On the list for the 2016 Sidewalk Program estimates, there are approximately 12 properties listed from Owens Drive, East Broadway, North High Street, and Wall Street.

“Safe Routes to School project, we are currently meeting with homeowners to review the proposed right-of-way acquisitions,” Busse said. Busse explained that the village hopes to have the meetings completed within the next week and the agreements signed by the end of October.

The village hopes to acquire the right-of-way areas between late December and early January in order to stay on schedule, Busse said. The plan is to begin construction next year.

In regard to the wastewater plant, Busse stated that the village met with their engineering firm CH2MHill on Sept. 15.

“Due to the possible change in the scope of the project, we’re breaking it into a phase one and a phase two so that we can build it at separate times,” Busse said. CH2MHill is working on a change order.

Also in connection with the wastewater plant, Busse stated that Ohio and Indiana Roofing is currently working on replacing the roofs of the shop and the digester building at the plant.

Busse also asked the council to approve an agreement with the Detroit Salt company to provide Covington with 60 tons of road salt this winter. The cost is $72.98 per delivered ton. Busse explained that this was part of the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) salt bid.

Busse also explained that the building where they store the salt is currently full, but they may need more if they have a bad winter.

“Most winters we use quite a bit,” Busse said.

Council member Lois Newman asked if there was any place where the village could get the salt cheaper than that. Busse explained that the village had checked, but they were not aware of any. Newman then stated that she thought she heard that the city of Dayton was paying $60 per ton for their salt. Busse explained that was most likely due to the large quantities of salt that Dayton was buying. Busse stated that communities like Dayton use hundreds of tons of salt at a time, so they were mostly likely able to secure their own deal for road salt.

“I don’t know of any place around to get it cheaper,” Busse said, explaining that $72.98 per delivered ton is a better deal than they were receiving in previous years when they were paying up to $165 per ton.

The council approved the road salt agreement, and the total cost approved was $4,378.80.

During the mayor’s report earlier in the meeting, Mayor Ed McCord discussed the upcoming Halloween Artisan Festival and Costume Contest.

“Just make sure you mark your calendars for Oct. 24,” McCord said. According to McCord, the village will be blocking off Wright Street to hold the event. Covington’s retailers’ association is putting on the event.

“I think the retailers’ association is really working hard,” McCord Said. “They deserve a lot of credit.”

During the old business portion of the meeting, attorney Frank Patrizio also presented the council with the revised income tax ordinance.

“I think I have this ordinance how everybody would like it,” Patrizio said.

“We’re going to continue doing what we’ve been doing only in the State’s format?” council member Scott Tobias asked, seeking clarification.

Patrizio stated that there were some minor changes.

“The tax committee is set up differently,” Patrizio said. “I don’t think it’s that much different.”

Busse also stated that they do not believe that there are going to be major changes or differences in this new ordinance. The income tax itself will not be changing. This is a state-mandated change in order for the municipalities all across Ohio to become more uniform, Busse explained. Covington will also not be able to collect income taxes if they do not approve it.

The first reading will be held at their next meeting.

During their meeting, the council also approved the following:

  • Setting Trick or Treat night on Oct. 29 from 6-8 p.m.
  • Appointing Fire Chief Bart Weer as the Covington Fire Prevention Officer to replace the recently retired Bill Westfall

The next Covington Council meeting will be held on Oct. 5 at 7 p.m. Meetings take place in the municipal building located at 1 S. High St.

By Sam Wildow

Reach reporter Sam Wildow at (937) 451-3336 or on Twitter @TheDailyCall

Reach reporter Sam Wildow at (937) 451-3336 or on Twitter @TheDailyCall