A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Covington City Commission to hear five-year economic development proposal next week


By Ryan Clark
NKyTribune Reporter

It was all about economic development Tuesday night in Covington.

While commissioners had much to discuss at their regularly-scheduled caucus meeting at City Hall, most of the notable topics just happened to center on the economic future of the city.

First, Mayor Joseph U. Meyer announced that at the city’s legislative meeting July 23, they will hear from Garner Economics, which will give an update on the city’s five-year economic development strategy project. 

“This is a very important presentation,” Meyer said, noting that city representatives, as well as some of Covington’s economic partners, will also be there for the hour-long presentation. 

Meyer said the commission will not take action on the presentation next week; instead, they will discuss it and likely act on it sometime in August.

Commissioners approved the hiring of Garner in December, when City Economic Development Director Tom West introduced the company as a well-respected national consulting firm for economic development known for its data analysis, and its ability to explain situations in “plain English” and implement their ideas.

The $100,000 project is funded with $50,000 of lease funds from the Kentucky Career Center designated for economic development projects, as well as an additional $50,000 from the TIF District.

Residents hear three possibilities for IRS site

City Manager David Johnston noted that more than 100 Covington residents and business officials attended an unveiling for three scenarios for the IRS site, in a discussion led by Atlanta-based consultant Cooper Carry held at City Hall July 11.

Johnston said residents were impressed that the consultants had incorporated their ideas into the proposals, each of which featured retail, office and green space on the 23 acres.

Johnston described the reaction to the meeting as “extremely satisfied” and “excited.” He noted another meeting will be held with Cooper Carry in about two months.

Fire facility study moves forward

Commissioners decided to move forward with a contract with Brandstetter Carroll for a fire facility study. In April, the city issued an RFP for a fire facility study for the company 2 fire station. 

The City received 10 responses, and determined Brandstetter Carroll as the best proposal. The study is not to exceed $27,730 and will be paid for in grants, said Chief Mark Pierce. 

The proposal will be put on the consent agenda next week.

Resolution to emphasize importance of census

Commissioners agreed to draft a resolution to emphasize the importance of being counted in the 2020 census. 

Neighborhood Services Director Ken Smith said a task force will work with undercounted populations to try and make a more accurate representation of the city’s population. He noted that in the 2010 census, the city of Covington may have been undercounted by about 30 percent.

He said everyone needed to “realize the importance of the census.”

Western Avenue stabilization consultant chosen

Commissioners decided to approve Terracon Consultants for $33,900 to fix the failing roadway from 9th Street to about 500 feet north of that, also known as the Western Avenue stabilization. 

The street has sunk about four to five feet in that area, Public Services Director Rick Davis said. 

Commissioners hear proposal for Riverfront Commons

Commissioners heard a proposed $6.5 million contract with Prus Construction for the Riverfront Commons project from Madison to Greenup.

“This is exciting,” Davis said. “We’ve been doing this for a long time.”

There were three bids submitted and Prus Construction was the lowest, city documents say. 

This project will have multi-use paths, an 1,100-seat amphitheater and improved overlooks for Madison and Scott, as well as benches, lighting, and garbage cans. 

Davis said the bid was less than 10 percent over the budgeted amount due to material costs. But the state and federal government have agreed to add an additional $350,000 to the grant, while the city will kick in an additional $200,000 from bonds.

The project has existed in one iteration or another since 2006, Davis said. 

The proposal was put on the regular agenda for next week.

Etc.

After the meeting, commissioners went into executive session to discuss an economic development project, Meyer said.

He said when the session was over, no further action would be taken.

The next regularly scheduled Covington Commission meeting will be a legislative meeting held at 6 p.m., July 23, at the Covington City Hall at 20 West Pike St.

Contact the Northern Kentucky Tribune at news@nkytrib.com


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