Covington BOE shows support for DRD

By Aimee Hancock

COVINGTON — The Covington Board of Education expressed its support for a Downtown Redevelopment District within the village during its regular meeting on Wednesday.

The Covington Council recently hosted a presentation by a representative of the Montrose Group, a consultant for the village of Covington, who discussed the details of DRDs.

Nate Green, of the Montrose Group, said DRDs provide incentives for businesses to locate in the downtown, as well as incentives for existing businesses to make improvements. Green said the goal is to achieve “historic preservation.”

To form a DRD, a municipality needs to have a building or an area on the National Register of Historic Places. The proposed Covington DRD would be anchored by the old fire house, located at 109 E. Spring St., Green said.

If this proposed DRD were put in place, the village could use approximately 70 percent of any new property taxes to go toward improvements in the DRD, which could include grants to go toward improving the old fire house, loans to property owners in the DRD, investments in public infrastructure, or dedicated to an economic development organization in the DRD. Only 20 percent of the DRD funds could go toward the economic development organization.

The new taxes could be brought on by improvements to properties in the DRD that increase the value of the properties.

The DRD could be in place anywhere between one and 30 years. If it is meant to last past 10 years, the village will also need approval from the Covington Board of Education, which was informally given during Wednesday’s meeting.

“I think (the proposal) works out well for the community and the school district,” said Superintendent Gene Gooding.

The board will need to formally vote on the issue, and will do so at next month’s meeting, Gooding said.

From there, the village will need to hold a public hearing on the DRD and pass legislation to implement it.

In other business, the board viewed a prelimenary photo depicting the look of two new signs to be placed in front of the elementary and high school buildings.

Gooding noted that the elementary/junior high sign will include an LED screened section, which will be used to list school events.

The signs are estimated to be installed around the end of September or early October of this year.

The board approved the June 2019 financial report, and it was noted that the fiscal year ended with positive cash flow.

Approval was also given to establish “petty cash” and “change funds” for the 2019-2020 school year.

The change funds are as follows:

• Lunchroom: $100

• Athletic department: $2,000

• High school library: $10

• Sophomore class concessions: $200

• Junior class concessions: $200

The petty cash designations are as follows:

• Kindergarten through sixth grade office: $100

• Seventh through 12th grade office: $100

• Board office: $100

Treasurer Carol Forsythe said a finance advisory/business council meeting is scheduled for July 30, at 6:30 p.m.

The board accepted the following donations:

• $2,000 from the Kupper Family to be used for audio visual equipment

• $1,000 from Regal Beloit (K Hamilton Award) to be used for the athletic department/baseball

• $691.44 from Covington BUCC Boosters to be used for the athletic department/softball uniforms

• $200 from the Alumni Association for the athletic department/football program

Several personnel were approved, including Logan Carey as the eighth grade boys basketball coach, David Heffelfinger as the seventh grade boys basketball coach, Bonnie Flora as food service coordinator, Shelley Ha as a bus driver and substitute custodian, Renee Dodson as substitute aide, Derik Ouellette, as a wrestling volunteer, and 21 band volunteers.

By Aimee Hancock

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