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City of Covington will apply for license to expand entertainment destination; separate vote next week

By Ryan Clark
NKyTribune reporter

Covington’s Entertainment Destination Center is one step closer to expanding.

City Commissioners agreed Tuesday to move forward with a $2,577 application with the state department of Alcoholic Beverage Control to expand the legal boundaries of its Entertainment Destination Center, which allows the consumption of alcoholic beverages within specific boundaries. 

That means that during some festivals and other special events, visitors could walk between establishments with open containers of bourbon or alcohol. The current boundary, created in 2018, applies only to the raised plaza in front of the RiverCenter and restaurants along the river. 

The new zone would include MainStrasse, the northern part of the Central Business District, Duveneck Square and the Roebling Point District.

Of course, commissioners wanted to make sure these instances are regulated and within reason, and they said as much at their regularly scheduled caucus meeting Tuesday. Commissioner Michelle Williams wondered — if the application is approved — if food trucks would be able to offer alcoholic drinks. 

City Solicitor and ABC Administrator Michael Bartlett replied that each distributor would need its own license or special permit — all subject to review.

“It’s possible,” Bartlett said, “but they would have to work through the process.”

Satisfied, the commission voted to move forward, and the application process was put on the consent agenda for next Tuesday’s legislative meeting.

The ordinance to expand the area will also have to be approved by the commission, and that will also be on the agenda for next Tuesday’s meeting. The thought behind the Entertainment Destination Center, similar to Louisville’s Fourth Street Live, is that it could help promote tourism during events like the Kentucky’s Edge bourbon and music festival coming to Covington and Newport on Oct. 4-5. 

City officials have made sure to point out that drinking in public areas can only be done by obtaining the proper permits for special events.

“It will not allow people to run wild through the streets of Covington with open containers whenever they choose,” Bartlett said in a story for the city’s website. “But it will — when certain conditions are met — allow certain licensed businesses to interact with festivals or other events going on at their doorsteps.”

Commission hears CDBG Action Plan

Community Development Manager Jeremy Wallace presented a draft of the 2019-20 CDBG/HOME Annual Action Plan to commissioners Tuesday night.

After gathering input from the public, the city has developed a plan for the next year, and now citizens have 30 days to comment on it.

Public comments will be accepted until June 9, and the full proposed plan may be reviewed at the following locations during normal business hours and is also available on the City of Covington’s website:

City of Covington — 20 West Pike St.

City of Ludlow — 227 Elm St.

City of Newport — 998 Monmouth St.

City of Bellevue — 616 Poplar St.

City of Dayton — 514 Sixth Ave.

Highlights of the plan for the fiscal year include:

Public improvements/infrastructure/park improvements

Street resurfacing of North Covington neighborhoods

Scott Street Streetscape


Highway Avenue sidewalk and fence improvements

Park Improvements based on results of Park Study/Planning

Peaselburg Little People’s Playground, Barb Cook Park, Goebel Park design work, general upgrades to other parks, i.e. signage, grills, bike racks, dog waste stations, picnic tables, etc.

Homeowner Rehab Programs

Upper Floor Residential Rehab Program — creates approx. 20 new upper floor rental units

Code Enforcement — targeted and in conjunction with other efforts

Crime Prevention Efforts — targeted and in conjunction with other efforts

Recreation/Youth Programs — early childhood literacy program

Business Development and Retention — technical assistance to small businesses and micro-enterprises

Homeownership Programs — assists approximately 90 homebuyers

CHDO Housing Development — creates 10 new homes for homeownership

A public hearing was called for the public to discuss the plan on Tuesday, but no one showed up to do so. 

“If there is any comment to be made, you can mail, call, or email Jeremy Wallace (at jwallace@covingtonky.gov ) before June 9,” Mayor Joseph U. Meyer said. 

Also Tuesday …

Commissioners heard a presentation Tuesday from the Devou Park Trail Collective regarding Phase Three for the Devou Park Backcountry Trails. Phase Three includes the connection of the Fort Wright easement into Devou, proving access to local residents; Implement Battery rehabilitation (partnership with Behringer-Crawford Museum); and two miles of new trails on Devou West.

Commissioners agreed to move forward with a contract with Bluegrass Recreation Sales for $67,280.80 for the construction of playground equipment at Peaselburg Park. The Parks and Recreation department solicited bids for the sourcing and installation of the equipment, and the project will be paid for with CDBG federal funds. This will be on the consent agenda next week.

Keep America Beautiful and Philip Morris have launched a nationwide initiative to educate adults about how to properly dispose of cigarette butts. Tuesday, Keep Covington Beautiful and community partners gave a presentation to commissioners about the Cigarette Litter Prevention Program Initiative scheduled to launch May 22. Keep America Beautiful have provided local affiliates with free receptacles to collect cigarette butts in communities. Keep Covington Beautiful received 23 receptacles, seven of which will be placed in MainStrasse this week. Local students from NKU and Xavier created marketing campaigns, “Trash the Cig, Not the City” and “Love the Cov, No ifs ands or Butts!”

Fire Chief Mark Pierce requested a resolution for next Tuesday’s meeting acknowledging the efforts of Danielle Stiner in presenting and training community partners in the Stop the Bleed Program, which highlights the importance of training the general public on techniques to stop life-threatening bleeding during a traumatic event. About 18 months ago the Covington Fire Department and St. Elizabeth formed a partnership in order to deliver the Stop the Bleed program to various schools in the area, and Stiner, an EMS Coordinator with St. Elizabeth Healthcare, accepted the responsibility. To date she has presented the program to over 600 people. Commissioners agreed to present the resolution to her next week.

The next regularly scheduled Covington Commission meeting will be a legislative meeting held at 6 p.m., May 28, at the Covington City Hall at 20 West Pike St.

Contact the Northern Kentucky Tribune at news@nkytrib.com

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