A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Covington Commission meeting: Mayor demands MainStrasse Association ‘wrap up business affairs’

By Ryan Clark
NKyTribune reporter

Take action. And do it soon.

That was the gist of the Mayor’s strong words directed to the MainStrasse Village Association Tuesday night, after enduring two months of its shaky financial standing.

In September, it was widely reported that the Association would be filling for bankruptcy.

“That bankruptcy has never been filed,” Mayor Joseph U. Meyer said after the city’s regularly scheduled legislative commission meeting Tuesday night. “We have police officers who still haven’t been paid for their service. The community needs to come together to decide how it wants to proceed.”

And it needs to do it quickly, he said. 

“The Association needs to wrap up its business affairs,” he said. “It’s important they take these steps for residents, but also for police officers owed money. I’m hopeful that action can be taken soon.”

In September, the Mayor chose not to comment on the situation, saying that the Commission knew nothing more than had been reported in the media. However, he did note how important the Association was to the city.

He also went on to say they would be working with the Association to find out more information, and noted it may be the right time to discuss the future of their relationships with festivals and the city.

City approves task force to study possible new City Hall

Commissioners approved a 16-member task force to help shape the vision for a possible new City Hall. 

In September, the Commission voted to enter into a contract with YARD & Company to explore the function of a new home for city government. The five-month process is expected to engage the public in a number of ways, the first of which is the formation of the task force.

“How does one get nominated?” for the task force, Commissioner Bill Wells asked Tuesday night.

Mayor Meyer explained that there was a nomination and application process, and that city officials made recommendations on who may be best suited for the roles.

The members are:

Brittany Brandenburg
Janet Creekmore
Peter D’Angio
Tim Downing
Lori Eifert
Rob Fischer
John “Jay” Fossett
Jim Guthrie
Richard Hamel
Andrew Hargis
Stephen Hayden
Chris Henry
Quentin Koopman
Taylor Lowry
Shannon Smith
Angela White

With three floods in the City Hall’s basement already this year, as well as a large and ever-increasing staff, City Manager David Johnston said the current City Hall building is not capable of providing what the city needs over the long haul.

The city moved in to the current site at 20 West Pike St. in 2013, and its five-year lease was recently extended by four years.

It is during those four years that the city will investigate where, and what, its next home may be.

Also Tuesday:

– Commissioners approved an order to hire zoning code development firm Kendig Keast Collaborative to rewrite the city Zoning Ordinance for up to $220,000. With city officials calling the current zoning codes “basically unworkable” due to years of historical codes competing with the need for more contemporary development uses in a constantly evolving town, Covington has decided to start over. The 18-month process will also include public input, officials said, and will be sure to include historic preservation principles to protect the city’s many historic structures.

– Representatives from Citizens’ Climate Lobby presented to the Commission, asking that the city support a fee for fossil fuels, which would then cause sustainable energies to be much more attractive, and move cities away from their reliance on fossil fuels. “We’ll consider that at some future meeting,” Mayor Meyer said. 

– Commissioners adopted an order to enter into an agreement with Burcor Fencing to remove and replace the fencing at Randolph Park and Goebel Park for $77,276, which will be payable from CDBG funds.

– Mayor Meyer made sure to note that two guests were present at the meeting: newly-elected Commissioner and former Mayor Denny Bowman and Covington Independent School Board Member Jerry Avery.

– Commissioners entered into Executive Session at the end of the meeting “for litigation purposes,” the Mayor said, adding that the group would not re-convene afterward and no action would be taken.

Trash collection on schedule, but City Hall closed for the holiday

The remains of Thanksgiving Dinner won’t sit in your garbage container one day more than it normally would this week.

Garbage collection in the City of Covington will occur on regularly scheduled days this week: Rumpke drivers will be following the normal routes, and the holiday should cause no delays or interruption in service. For more information on trash and recycling in the City, or to look at garbage routes, click HERE

Covington City Hall will be closed on Thursday and Friday for the Thanksgiving holiday.

The next regularly scheduled Covington Commission meeting will be a caucus meeting held at 6 p.m., Dec. 4, at the Covington City Hall at 20 West Pike St.

Contact the Northern Kentucky Tribune at news@nkytrib.com

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