COVINGTON — During the Covington Council meeting on Monday evening, Covington Mayor Ed McCord urged residents to support the 3-mill street levy that will be on the May 8 ballot.
“It’s a tremendously important levy for us to get,” he said.
McCord said that the village had maintained the village’s 1.5 percent income tax without having to see raising it, but it is no longer enough to cover the costs of maintaining the village’s streets.
“These winters we’ve had have been terrible on our streets,” he said.” It’s not possible anymore.”
McCord looked at other local municipalities, pointing out that the city of Piqua has a 2 percent income tax with 0.25 percent going directly toward street maintenance. The village of Bradford also has a 7-mill levy just for street maintenance.
The 3-mill street levy would generate approximately $124,000 per year, according to McCord. The levy would also be for five years. The work would begin on Wenrick, McCord said.
“This past winter has been devastating,” Village Administrator Mike Busse said.
McCord added that 100 percent of the funds collected from the levy will go toward street maintenance. “That’s our promise,” he said.
The council also heard from Covington Chief of Police Lee Harmon, who introduced the Covington Police Department’s Police Officer of the Year, Kevin Wright. Harmon said that Wright is a Covington native and veteran of the U.S. Navy.
“His dad was chief of police when I started here,” Harmon said.
Harmon complimented Wright’s work as a police officer, saying that Wright was good at community policing and had taken a lot of drugs off of Covington’s streets.
“We appreciate everything you do,” McCord said, thanking all of the police department.
During the village administrator’s report, Busse touched on power outage Covington experienced on April 4.
“The village experienced a high-water event involving the Greenville Creek as well as Stillwater River. Although we have seen more severe high-water events than that in the past few years, this event included a tree falling across power lines that span the Greenville Creek,” Busse said. “The falling tree brought down a DP&L primary power line that fed the Covington well field, sewer plant, water plant, government center, the downtown business district as well as several hundred village residents.”
Busse acknowledged “the hard work and dedication” of the DP&L line workers, the Covington and Bradford fire departments, Covington village staff, the Covington Police Department, and everyone involved who worked to get power restored. Busse said that the Covington and Bradford fire departments provided rescue boats and personnel to assist the DP&L line workers in getting to the downed power lines.
“We have very dedicated personnel working for the village and on both fire departments … and we should be very proud of the work they do to keep out communities safe,” Busse said.
McCord also thanked Busse for his efforts that day in working to restore power.
During the public comment portion of the meeting, resident Phyllis Rapp brought forward concerns about the village’s basketball courts. She asked the village to make the fence higher to deter juveniles from throwing basketballs and other items over the fence in order to protect the yard and house next to it.
“They have hit the house several times,” Rapp said, adding that trash frequently ends up in the private yard next to the basketball court.
McCord thanked Rapp for bringing this to the attention of the council. McCord said that the basketball courts will be one of the focal points of a parks master plan that the village is seeking to develop.
The council held the first reading on a resolution that would authorize a contract with Poggemeyer Design Group to complete this master plan at a cost of approximately $12,000.
“This plan includes a review of our current village park and the basketball courts. The plan also includes the assessment of facility needs and develops a roadmap to make future upgrades,” Busse said. “The proposed plan will include cost estimates and identify possible funding sources for future project and that master plan will also include a concept for possible future facilities at the old middle school site.”
In the proposal provided by Poggemeyer Design Group, they outlined the basic services provided under the contract that the council is considering. Those include:
• Attending a project kickoff meeting with village staff to review the project sites and village goals for the project
• Preparing a concept plan and cost estimates for a new shelter house at Covington Community Park
• Preparing a concept plan and cost estimates for new basketball courts at the northeast corner of North Grant Street and Maple Street
• Preparing a concept plan and cost estimates for a new parking lot on the vacant lot at the southeast corner of North Grant Street and Maple Street
• Preparing a concept plan and preliminary cost estimate for the development of the former Covington Middle School property
• Attending a final meeting to present concept plans and cost estimates
Possible development at the former Covington Middle School site includes a new structure potentially containing a stage, restrooms, and concession stand, and walking paths and landscaping on the remainder of the property.
The council also approved a resolution setting the maximum amount of blanket purchase orders at $16,000. In addition, the council approved the final payment to Monnin Excavating for the demolition of 137 N. High St. at a cost of $4,500, along with budgeted transfer funds.
The council also held the first reading of a resolution authorizing Busse to sell the 1994 Case Backhoe.
Council member Judy Smith was absent.
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