Village seeks to recover demolition costs

Council approves special assessments

By Sam Wildow -

COVINGTON — The village is seeking recover its share of the cost demolishing an unsafe house in Covington in addition to sidewalk improvements the village made over the summer.

During the Covington Council meeting on Monday evening, the council authorized the filing of a special assessment with the Miami County Auditor to recover the village’s share of the cost of tearing down the house at 137 N. High St. The village paid approximately $7,928 for the asbestos removal and demolition of the house earlier this year, which was previously deemed structurally unsafe. That cost will now be assessed to the property tax for this location.

The reported owner of the property, John E. Longenecker, was given 30 days’ notice to demolish the property himself upon receipt of the letter back in late 2016. Longenecker, currently of Laura, received a number of fines from the Miami County Health Board for violations in regard to this home, according to Miami County Municipal Court records.

Additionally, the council also authorized the filing of an assessment with the county auditor for past utility bills due for the property located at 224 College St. The amount is for approximately $725. Village Administrator Mike Busse said that this property is expected to go through a sheriff’s auction soon.

The council also authorized the filing special assessments for the 2018 sidewalk project on affected property taxes. The total amount that the village will assess will be approximately $22,929. Council member Bud Weer abstained from the vote. The council waived the three reading rule on this resolution.

The council also authorized a special assessment levy for the purpose of paying the cost of lighting the streets in the village. The total amount will be for $45,000.

“This is not an increase over last year’s (assessment),” Mayor Ed McCord said.

The village is also seeking to hold delinquent taxpayers accountable and collect outstanding tax money owed to the village.

“I will be working with (village attorney) Mr. Patrizio to move forward with the filing of charges for persons that failed to file village income taxes in 2016 and 2017,” Busse said.

Payments approved

The council also approved entering into a contract with Fryman-Kuck General Contractors for the improvement project at the south end pump station. Fryman-Kuck General Contractors’s bid for the project was $180,931. Busse said that $150,000 of that cost is being funded through a zero percent interest loan.

The council also approved a number of payments during their meeting.

The council approved a progress pay request to Access Engineering in the amount of $12,125 for the High Street reconstruction project design.

The council then approved a progress pay request to CH2MHill in the amount of approximately $6,942 for the Wastewater Treatment Plant Phase 1 improvement project.

They then approved a change order for Wastewater Treatment Plant Phase 1 improvement project in the amount of $16,457. This raised the total cost of the construction to approximately $1,151,431.

“This should be the final change order for the project, which includes additional asphalt work and the addition of the 277-volt transformer that I had previously discussed with council,” Busse said.

The council then approved a pay request to Access Engineering for the design of the south end lift station improvements for $10,000.

Other items approved

The council also approved requesting the state of Ohio director of transportation to modify the speed limit on a portion of High Street.

“This request is to reduce the legal speed between Dodd Street and Walnut Street to 25 miles per hour,” McCord said.

The council also held the second reading of an ordinance to amend trash collection rates for the village. The proposed ordinance includes a rate increase of $1 to the monthly recycling fee, raising it from $2.50 to $3.50, effective in September. Additional rate increases of 50 cents — 25 cents to the monthly trash fee and 25 cents to the monthly recycling fee — would also be applied each July from 2019 to 2022.

The council later approved a conditional offer to Anthony James Hickman to be a full-time probationary police officer with a starting pay of $15.97 per hour. This conditional offer to hire will be contingent upon a successful completion of a background check and other physical exams. Covington Chief of Police Lee Harmon said that Hickman is coming from the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office. Lee added that Hickman graduated from Miami East High School and attended Edison State Community College’s police academy.

The next council meeting was rescheduled for Sept. 4 at 7 p.m. due to the Labor Day holiday. The second council meeting of September will take place on its regularly scheduled date of Sept. 17 at 7 p.m. Council meetings are held in the municipal building, located at 1 S. High Street.

The village also has garage sale days sponsored by the Covington Chamber of Commerce coming up on Aug. 30, Aug. 31, and Sept. 1 over Labor Day weekend.

Council approves special assessments

By Sam Wildow

Reach Sam Wildow at

Reach Sam Wildow at