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City of Covington reports 2Q finances on track, new telecommunications ordinance will get first reading

By Ryan Clark
NKyTribune reporter

City of Covington Finance Director Muhammed Owusu likes to make things easy to understand.

“When our revenues outpace our expenditures, the city of Covington is doing good,” he told city commissioners as part of their regularly scheduled caucus meeting Tuesday night. “We don’t see departments going over budget. We will continue to be diligent about this. And we’ll make sure we come in on target at the end of the year.”

Revenues came in at $27,353,128 and expenditures reported at $26,913,309.

Each quarter, Owusu presents a general fund budget update to the Board, in an effort to provide as much transparency as possible to the public.

Owusu and City Manager David Johnsto, went on to explain that the city is paying down debt, most departments are right on track when it comes to spending, and there is no need to propose any budget amendments at this time. 

Also Tuesday:

New Telecommunications Franchise Ordinance

Commissioners heard a proposed telecommunications franchise ordinance, one that would provide “a framework for telecommunications companies, including small cell companies, to obtain such franchises,” City documents stated. 

“The proposed ordinance sets out the requirements for obtaining a telecommunications franchise from the city and establishes an application and bidding process. Additionally, it sets out requirements for insurance, performance bonds, and compliance with all city ordinances and regulations.”

City Solicitor Michael Bartlett reported that if anyone saw any of the 5G coverage during Sunday’s Super Bowl, this is like “our little piece of the 5G world.”

He explained how the cell companies want to come in and build new towers, and “(the city) can maintain some control over where these things are located.”

The ordinance will get a first reading at the Commission’s legislative meeting next Tuesday.

Commission hears easement agreement for First Financial

Commissioners heard a proposal to execute an easement agreement with First Financial Bank for Internet teller machine utility lines beneath the sidewalk along Sixth Street.

First Financial Bank has proposed to locate an internet teller machine at 17-21 Sixth St. “To accommodate the machine, the bank has requested a utility line easement along a portion of Sixth Street in order to connect to a nearby property,” according to documents.  

The easement is for a 10-year term, with two optional 5-year renewals.

Earlier in the day, the city announced the bank would be opening a new innovation center in the historic four-story building at 601 Madison Ave., currently home to Donna Salyers’ Fabulous Bridal Boutique.

“We’re very excited we can now talk about this publicly,” Bartlett said. The proposal will be on the consent agenda next Tuesday.

Bowman: Stop trucks on Kyles

Commissioner Denny Bowman said he’d like the Commission to talk to the state highway department about stopping the heavy trucks that drive along Kyles Lane, particularly between Highland Pike to Walt’s Hitching Post, because of the damage that’s been done to the road. 

“There’s no reason for those trucks to do down there,” Bowman said, and the Mayor agreed. 

Uniform Standards for Shelters to get Second Reading

Next Tuesday, Commissioners will hear the second reading of an ordinance that will create a uniform set of standards for shelters “providing temporary housing in order to ensure the health, safety and welfare of clients, staff and the Covington community.”

If there are no objections or requests for delays, the Commission will vote on the ordinance. 


Commissioners also put on next week’s consent agenda:

The resignation of fire/rental inspector William Engel

A renewal preferred developer agreement with CGN

The reappointment of Omar Gray to the Code Enforcement Hearing Board

Commissioners ended the meeting by going into an executive session to discuss an “economic development project.” Mayor Joseph U. Meyer said no further action would be taken after the session. 

The next regularly scheduled Covington Commission meeting will be a legislative meeting held at 6 p.m., Feb. 11, 2020, at the Covington City Hall at 20 West Pike St.

Contact the Northern Kentucky Tribune at news@nkytrib.com

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