Covington parking lot passes 4-2

COVINGTON — Covington Council approved a contract with Access Engineering for the municipal parking lot project for $5,500 with a vote of 4-2. Council members Lois Newman and Joyce Robertson voted against the resolution.

“We have signed the construction contracts, and they are currently at the county for approval,” Mike Busse, village administrator, said about the municipal parking lot. “We should probably have those back first part of next week.” Work is expected to begin around July 1, Busse stated.

On the order of new business, the council waived the three reading rule to vote to allow Covington’s Fiscal Officer to use alternate tax budget forms.

“If we don’t pass this resolution authorizing the alternate tax budget forms, we have to publish it in the newspaper that we’re going to have public hearing,” Busse said. “That’s really the biggest difference. The paperwork’s slightly different, not enough to even have a lengthy discussion.”

“Several counties around have waived the requirement to do a tax budget at all,” Busse said. Busse explained that completing a 2016 tax budget would mean the council taking part in a workshop to look over where Covington is in regards to revenues and expenses.

“It’s not a binding budget like the budget we do at the end of the year,” Busse said. “It just allows us to take a look at what our projected expenses are, what our projected revenues are, and any kind of forecast.”

Busse stated that the original intent was that if the city needed to pass a levy to generate more funds, it is an opportunity to see that need earlier. The issue with doing a 2016 tax budget now is that Covington is not halfway through this year yet, Busse said. They do not know that their ending balances are going to be.

Both the Miami County Budget Commission and the Miami County Auditor voted to waive the requirement for the village of Covington to adopt a 2016 tax budget. Covington Council approved abstaining from adopting a tax budget for 2016. Instead, Covington will be turning in “the information and documents” deemed “necessary in the absence of the adoption of a tax budget” to the budget commission, according to Resolution R-18-15.

The council then waived the three reading rule for the next resolution regarding an annexation. The council approved the annexation of a property in Newberry Township, owned by Dale Sink and Paul E. Smith, into the village of Covington.

For the final resolution on the agenda, the council approved the repair of sidewalks on Owens Drive. During Busse’s administrator’s report, Busse stated that property owner Gary Maier wanted “to replace the sidewalks, approaches, and some curbs at his apartments on Owens Drive.”

Maier will be able to use Covington’s contractor that they are using for the 2015 Sidewalk Program, but Maier will have to pay for the cost “out of pocket,” Busse stated. “He’s aware of that,” Busse said. “He’s on board with that.”

Also during the administrator’s report, Busse provided an update on the Spring Street project. Busse stated that VTF is continuing the work on the Spring Street reconstruction. “They are currently between Ludlow and Grant Streets, working from east to west,” according to Busse.

At the beginning of the council meeting, the council also held the swearing in of Officer Timothy R. Kline, school resource officer for Covington Schools and patrolman with the village of Covington Police Department.

“We’re glad you’re here,” Mayor Ed McCord said. “I’ve had a boatload of positive comments.” McCord said that there was a common feeling through town that Covington has “a good thing going with the safety of our kids.”

During the mayor’s report at the meeting, McCord gave the reminder that the government center will be closed on July 3 to observe the Fourth of July holiday.

“There’s a lot of activity out in the community,” McCord said. “The other big thing we’re going to have coming up is the three-on-three basketball tournament, which will be held by the middle school, which is always well-attended.” It will be held on July 25.

“It’s a really good thing to support,” McCord said.

McCord also mentioned that garage sale weekend in Covington was a “huge success.”

“There were a lot of treasures found and a lot of treasures lost,” McCord said. “It was a good thing for the village.”

Covington Council meetings are held on the first and third Monday of each month at 7 p.m. The meetings take place at the government center at 1 S. High St. in Covington.