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Covington City Commission approves RFQ to develop a master plan for parks system

By David Holthaus
NKyTribune reporter

The City of Covington took a first step toward creating a master plan for its park system Tuesday, with the aim of developing a holistic and long-term view of the its parks inventory.

The City of Covington took a step towards developing a master plan for its parks system at Tuesday’s City Commission meeting(file photo).

The city commissioners approved issuing a request for qualifications for outside firms interested in developing the plan. 

The Parks and Recreation Department wants to create a comprehensive strategy for Covington’s parks, facilities, programs and services to serve as a guide for the works of the department and for future parks and recreation policies.

“We have a park redesign plan, so we’ve been steadily been working on some of our parks, and we have that planned out for the next couple of years, but what we don’t have is an overall comprehensive plan,” said Ken Smith, Covington’s neighborhood services director.

The city has about 990 acres of park land and open space in 40 facilities throughout the city. The parks range in scale from tiny corner lots to Devou Park, a regional attraction with more than 700 acres.

The city also has three aquatic facilities, including two in-ground pools and one water park. It also has a 54-acres sports complex with seven ballfields, two soccer fields and a paved walking trail. The recreation system also includes the Riverfront Commons along the Ohio River the Licking River Greenway trail system.

“We want to look at the parks in totality and also how we structure the oversight of these parks,” Smith said. Devou Park, for example has an advisory committee that sets policy.

Whatever outside firm is eventually selected is expected to lead a public engagement process and work with existing park stakeholders, including Devou Park organizations.

The city’s request will ask outside firms to details their expertise and experience with such planning, to outline the resources they have available to complete the work and other information, including a proposed project timeline.

In other action Tuesday, commissioners:

  • Approved an emergency medical services mutual aid agreement with Kenton County.
  • Approved an updated finance department policies and procedures manual.
  • Approved extending for six months a preferred developer agreement with the Center for Great Neighborhoods for the Orchard Park site on Martin Luther King Jr. Drive between Holman and Banklick Streets.
  • Accepted the bid of Avenu Insights and Analytics for delinquent tax collection services.

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

Contact the Northern Kentucky Tribune at news@nkytrib.com

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