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Covington offers details of new grant program for beautification; Public Works hiring landscape crews

Neighborhood-oriented groups in Covington who want to improve the look of their surroundings will soon have additional and tangible help – grants of $250 to $5,000 from the City.

Neighborhood banners, like this one in Austinburg, are among the types of projects eligible for funding under a Covington grant program about to be unveiled (provided photos).

As reported from the NKyTribune’s coverage of the March 19, Covington City Commission meeting, the City allocated the funds in the Fiscal Year 2019 budget.

What sorts of projects will be eligible?

Examples include things like banners and signs, planters, or clean-up and beautification initiatives and events.

The $60,000 Neighborhood Grant Program is on the Covington City Commission’s consent agenda for Tuesday night. Assuming approval, the City will then post links on its website, HERE, that provide guidelines, a blank application, and a scoring sheet that will show how awardees will be chosen.

Neighborhood Services Director Ken Smith said he expected “no shortage of wonderful ideas” to be submitted.

“The goal is to improve the physical appearance of our great neighborhoods and enhance the sense of social cohesion through beautification projects, blight removal, special events, and/or activities,” Smith said. “I’m excited for this opportunity to work with community groups to make this happen.”

Smith said the City is not looking for complex projects that take a long time to carry out.

“We will be looking for proposals that can be accomplished quickly without a lot of administration,” Smith said. “Ideas that require capacity building or have a long timeframe for implementation would not be a good fit.”

Details about the program:

• Two rounds of funding, in the Spring and Fall.

• Two categories: Small grants will be $250 to $1,500; large will be $1,501 to $5,000.

• Applicants must be an existing neighborhood association or a group that is organizing to become one. Not eligible are individuals, businesses, social service agencies, fraternal and religious organizations, schools, and public agencies, although these groups can collaborate with neighborhood groups.

• Scoring by a committee will focus on factors like feasibility, impact, need, support, sustainability, and leveraged investment.

• Neighborhoods are restricted to one large or two small grants per year.

An information meeting will be held 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. April 22 at City Hall to review the guidelines and answer questions ahead of the May 13 deadline for the first round of funding.

“While the City has to have some restrictions on the use of public dollars, we want to be as flexible as possible in making sure that the application process is quick and simple,” Smith said.

Neighborhood banners, like this one in Austinburg, are among the types of projects eligible for funding under a Covington grant program about to be unveiled.

Public Works hiring landscape crews

Like to work in the great outdoors?

The City of Covington’s Public Works Department is looking to hire about a dozen or more landscape and maintenance workers for the year.

“We’re looking for people who show up every day, who work hard, who like to work outside, and who enjoy accomplishments doing landscape-type jobs,” Director Rick Davis said. “You don’t need a college degree or any technical expertise.”

The City has already hired a dozen or so workers but needs double that, he said.

Hours are full-time through the week, and the job typically lasts through December.

To apply, see the “Public Works landscape and maintenance worker” listing on the City’s job openings webpage, HERE.

“This is a good opportunity that results in good experience and can become a good stepping stone to other employment,” Davis said. “We’ve had several people who excelled at this job go on to become permanent employees here, and others have used me as a reference to get jobs with other agencies or with private industry.”

As spelled out in the application, duties run the gamut from cutting grass to trimming weeds, pruning bushes, painting and repairing fences, sharpening tools, cleaning out drainage ditches, and painting crosswalks, among others.

There is no deadline for applying, but Davis said Public Works is looking to fill the positions as soon as possible.

City of Covington

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