NOTE: This part two of a two-part series on the Covington Council meeting held Monday, Oct. 19. Part one ran in the Wednesday edition of the Daily Call.
COVINGTON — Covington’s safety services gave an update during the Covington Council meeting on Monday evening about their runs, response times, and overall contribution to the community.
During the third quarter, the Covington Fire Department responded to 47 incidents. Of those incidents, approximately 18 of those were calls from Piqua. Fire Chief Bart Weer explained that many of those calls they were told to disregard. The Covington Fire Department and the Piqua Police Department have an automatic response agreement, but Weer stated that Piqua is quick to tell Covington to disregard if they are not needed at a scene.
Covington EMS had a total of 149 calls during their third quarter. It was also stated during the meeting that the trustees of both the fire department and EMS have investigated the possibility of a merger between the two groups.
Covington EMS’s response time from when they get a call from dispatch to when they are out the door is two minutes and 19 seconds.
The Covington Police Department also has had 88 arrests and 21 accidents during this recent quarter.
“This year’s been pretty, pretty busy,” Chief of Police Lee Harmon said. Harmon explained that the majority of the accidents were assured clear distance or failure to yield accidents. The Covington Police Department also takes private property accident calls.
The Covington Police Department investigated 531 complaints and 526 have been cleared. The auxiliary police officers also donated 364 hours.
Village Administrator Mike Busse covered a number of topics in his report, beginning with leaves.
“Leaf pickup is underway, and we will continue until Friday, Dec. 4,” Busse said. “Residents should place their leaves and yard waste curb-side and village staff will pick up as time allows.”
Busse stated that leaf pickup will not be able to happen on specific days. Due to staffing levels, the leaf pickup will be taken care of as time allows. Busse, however, expected it to be typically Thursdays or Fridays.
During an update on the Spring Street project, Busse explained that DP&L moved the poles that were in conflict with the village sidewalk projects. While doing that, they drilled through a water service line that was improperly marked.
“VTF will be in this week to replace three driveway approaches, the curb approach in front of Bart Weer’s house, and three sidewalk pads,” Busse said.
In regards to the 2016 Sidewalk Program, Busse stated that the affected property owners have been notified.
One of the residents living at one affected properties spoke before council during public comment, requesting to be taken off of the list as he was recently affected by the Spring Street project.
“I live on the corner of Wall and Spring (Streets),” Scott Mullen of Covington said. “I would like at least a little bit of a break.”
Mullen stated that it had been estimated that he would be required to pay between $3,000 and $4,000 for the 2016 Sidewalk Program.
“Quite frankly, I can’t put in $4,000,” Mullen said. Mullen stated that he would get the sidewalks on his property fixed or the village could come back to him in three years.
“Three years, I’ll have them all done, I won’t be up here bothering you with them,” Mullen said.
The council was understanding of Mullen’s position and approved his request.
Busse also covered the different types of insurance that needed approval for both the village and their employees.
The council first approved the one-year renewal of liability insurance from Hylant Insurance, the Ohio Plan. The quote that Busse provided was for $32,990, which included $874 for Cyber Data Breach Liability coverage. According to Busse, that was not available to the village last year.
Busse explained that while this premium cost is an increase by approximately $1,000, Hylant advised him that the village may see no increase next year due to an improved claims history. The village may even see a small decrease in next year’s premium.
Council also approved McGohan Brabender’s recommendation to renew the village employees’ health insurance with Anthem Blue Cross, Blue Shield.
“This will be a 6.1 percent average increase to premiums,” Busse said during his report.
Council also approved the next renewal date for the village’s employee health insurance to Oct. 1, 2016.
Later in the meeting, the council also approved a contract to Finfrock Construction for $7,222 for the Chestnut Street storm sewer project.
“They can probably start that within the next two weeks,” Busse said on the topic. Busse also stated that this was built into the budget.
Also covered on the council’s agenda:
• The second reading of Ord. 16-15, which revises the income tax regulations
• The second reading of Ord. 17-15, which will purchase a property located at for the purpose of creating parking for the downtown
• The purchase of Christmas hams from Patty’s IGS for the village employees for a total of $696
• The purchase of the abandoned old Paul’s Pizza building on High Street for $6,000 for an undetermined use at this point
• The government center will be closed on Nov. 11 for Veterans Day along with Nov. 26-27 for Thanksgiving
The village was also reminded about the upcoming Halloween Artisan Festival and costume contest being held in the downtown on Saturday, Oct. 24, from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. In addition to the artisans on the street and the costume contest, there will be face painting, candy giveaways, raffle tickets, food vendors, live music, an outdoor family movie, and more.
Reach reporter Sam Wildow at (937) 451-3336 or on Twitter @TheDailyCall