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Covington agrees to more small biz incentives, IL zone restaurants, taverns to sell packaged liquor 

By Ryan Clark
NKyTribune reporter

The City of Covington rolled out yet another set of incentives for small businesses Tuesday night, with more than $22,000 in rent subsidies and another $24,000 in façade improvements.

It’s all a part of opening the city to small businesses and letting them grow, Economic Development Director Tom West said.

“This helps small businesses so they don’t have to worry about something like their rent — they can instead focus on establishing their brand, for instance,” West said. “And when they succeed, our city becomes a destination for businesses, which makes us all succeed.”

Mayor Joseph U. Meyer agreed, and applauded the city’s consistent efforts to help small businesses.

“It’s great to see this idea expand,” he said.

Rent Subsidies were approved for:

Olla, LTD: $6,000 at 302 MLK Jr. Blvd.
Salon Jade, Inc.: $6,000 at 717 Pike St.
Gumdrop LLC, $5,400 at 15 W. Pike St.
Haven Spa LLC, $5,305 at 303 Scott Blvd.

Façade incentives were approved for:

1301 Holman St. LLC: $6,000 for 1301 Holman St.
Greenlight Developers: $6,000 for 642 Main St.
Covington Ladies Home: $6,000 for 702 Garrard St.
Sean Selfe: $6,000 for 325 MLK Blvd.

Also Tuesday: A Subordination Agreement was made with Hotel Covington, where the city agreed to subordinate their existing loan as part of their refinance.

Coppin’s Restaurant and Bar at Hotel Covington (file photo)

In 2015, the City supported the Hotel Covington project by selling City Hall for $1 million and issuing a 20-year, $4 million taxable general obligation bond that Hotel Covington would repay.

“Hotel Covington is seeking to refinance now that the property has reached stabilization,” city documents say. “There is language in the agreement with the city that prohibits the Hotel from exceeding a certain level of debt. The current refinancing terms would exceed that limit and they are asking the city to consider amending the agreement to allow the refinance to happen. After underwriting, the refinanced deal still provides the necessary security to repay the city’s remaining bond of $3.59 million.”

Lastly: The city agreed to a Section 108 Loan to Handzy Ltd., agreeing to execute the necessary agreements to provide a $30,000 loan to Handzy Ltd. Co. using Section 108 loan funds. Located at 15 W. Pike St., Handzy will be expanding into a larger location next door at 17 W Pike Street.

The $30,000 loan will be used to purchase: about $20,000 of merchandise, $5,000 of equipment, and $5,000 of working capital to stock the new, two-story retail space and purchase a Point of Sale system. “It is structured as a 10-year loan at a 4 percent interest rate,” City documents say. “The City loan will be secured by a first position lien on the company’s receivables and inventory. The company expects to create two new positions.”

All of the incentives and agreements were placed on the consent agenda to be approved next week.

IL zone restaurants, taverns to sell packaged liquor

Commissioners heard an order to add a section to the city zoning code to allow restaurants and taverns within industrial limited zones to sell packaged liquor as an accessory use. 

“Given the current interest in bourbon, this amendment will allow restaurants and taverns in the IL zone to meet that demand from the public,” City documents said. “This amendment limits package sales to restaurants and taverns in the IL zone and does not allow for standalone liquor stores.”

The order will be on the consent agenda next week.

CSX lease increases $200

Commissioners heard a request for a lease agreement with CSX for the property at Annie Hargraves Park, increasing the rent from $450 to $650 per year. In October 2015, the city entered into a lease agreement with CSX for $450 per year. In July 2019, CSX told the city it was increasing the lease to $650 per year. The increase will be on the consent agenda next week.

D&M gets $120K CDBG loan

The Neighborhood Services Department requested approval of a $160,000 loan for an Upper Floor Residential Rehab loan to D&M Company, LLC, to redevelop eight upper-floor rental units ($20,000 per unit) from 809 to 811 Madison Avenue. This is a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) loan through the City’s Upper Floor Residential Rehab Program. The request was put on the consent agenda for next week.

Trail Collective presents Devou Park West trail system

The Devou Park Trail Collective made a presentation Tuesday night to add an additional trail to Phase 3 of trail development. The trail will run parallel to Montague Road and exit onto Home Road. A protective net will be installed behind the golf course green to protect users of the trail. River’s Breeze is funding the trail construction including the protective net.

Ad valorem tax rate will get second reading

Commissioners will hear a second reading next week to decide the tax rates for real and personal property: 0.327 for each $100 of all assessed or assessable real property and 0.349 for each $100 of all assessed or assessable personal property. The Commission will vote after hearing the second reading.

Mayor expects to hear from City Hall Task Force

Also next week, Mayor Meyer said the Commission will hear a presentation from the City Hall Task Force.

Commission goes into executive session

Mayor Meyer announced that the Commission would go into executive session to discuss an economic development project and personnel issues. He said that afterward, “there will be no more formal action taken by the Commission.”

The next regularly scheduled Covington Commission meeting will be a legislative meeting held at 6 p.m., Sept. 10, at the Covington City Hall at 20 West Pike St.

Contact the Northern Kentucky Tribune at news@nkytrib.com

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