A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

City of Covington hearing explains use of $3.6 million Community Development Block Grant, HOME funds

By Ryan Clark
NKyTribune reporter

City residents have until June 25 to study and comment on a plan for how officials will use $3.6 million in federal funding earmarked to improve the lives of low to moderate-income area families.

Chances are, the residents are going to like what they see.

Jeremy Wallace, community development manager for Covington, presented at a public hearing during the city’s regular legislative meeting Tuesday night, describing what the funds are and how they will be utilized.

Coming from the Community Development Block Grant program and the HOME Investment Partnerships Program, the $3.6 million (which is a bit more than last year, Wallace noted) will be utilized in Covington, Ludlow, Newport, Bellevue and Dayton, which make up the Northern Kentucky HOME Consortium.

Wallace noted the goal is to use the funding in a more “strategic” way, by combining some efforts because “Together, we get a bigger impact,” he said. He noted one example could be creating a program where rivals would compete to see who could work with the city to develop the most striking streetscape.

Major initiatives for the next fiscal year include:

  • Public infrastructure and park improvements
  • Street resurfacing in the Latonia Neighborhoods
  • Latonia Avenue Street reconstruction
  • 3rd Street/Johnson Street/Rivercenter Boulevard reconstruction
  • Neighborhood Business District competitive streetscape program
  • Park Improvements, including the Randolph Pool, the Goebel Pool and the Peaselburg Playground.
  • Tree planting
  • City trash can replacement
  • Washington Street Streetscape
  • Homeowner rehab programs
  • Crime prevention efforts
  • Homeownership programs
  • Recreation/Youth programs
  • Code Enforcement

Residents can look at the plan in its entirety on the Covington city website and can comment to Wallace over the next two weeks by email at jwallace@covingtonky.gov.

Also Tuesday:

  • Commissioners were able to fill all open positions at the Fire Department, and promoted men with a combined 60 years of experience. They are:
  • Battalion Captain Christopher Alsip to Battalion Chief.
  • Lieutenant Joseph Bowman to Captain.
  • Engineer/Paramedic Patrick Averveck to Lieutenant/Paramedic.
  • Firefighter/Paramedic Mathew Archer to Engineer/Paramedic.
  • Commissioners agreed to submit a sealed bid to the city of Park Hills to provide advanced life support and emergency medical treatment services.
  • Commissioners agreed to approve the job description for an economic development project manager.
  • Commissioners agreed to execute a construction easement and property transfer agreement with the Center for Great Neighborhoods for Annie Hargraves Park and Basil Lewis Park for the installation of new playground equipment and park amenities.
  • Commissioners agreed to issue up to $26 million in maximum aggregate principal amount taxable industrial building revenue bonds to assist Ky Covington West 7th LLC for the John R. Green project — the property located at 409-415 West Sixth St. The project will redevelop 1.5 acres, create 170 market-rate apartments, add 6,000 square feet of retail space and renovate 18,000 square feet of office space. It will include a three-level, 295-space parking garage, at least 92 of which will be available for public use.
  • Mayor Joseph U. Meyer noted in his public comments that last Friday marked the launch of free Wi-Fi in downtown Covington. Officials hope this will be another incentive to bring tourists, residents and businesses to the city’s urban core.

The next Covington Commission meeting will be a caucus meeting held at 6 p.m., June 19, at the Covington City Hall at 20 West Pike St.

Contact the Northern Kentucky Tribune at news@nkytrib.com


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