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City of Covington approves new building purchase for Public Works and Barb Cook Park redevelopment

By Ryan Clark
NKyTribune reporter

Last week was National Public Works Week, and Tuesday, the City of Covington came through with a much-needed gift.

It’s a new setting for the Public Works office.

In the past month, Covington sold its current Public Works property to Rumpke Waste & Recycling, and now, the city has decided to purchase another site, which they announced last week.

Located at 1730 Russell St., the 68,000 square-foot building sits on 3.68 acres of land, and will cost the city $2.65 million.

New home for Public Works

Commissioners approved the sale at their regularly-scheduled legislative meeting Tuesday night, which was again held remotely due to COVID-19 restrictions.

There was no discussion this week over the purchase, which was a consent item (the discussion for these kinds of actions always take place the week before, at the commission caucus meetings). Instead, the purchase was approved as part of the consent agenda, without any comments made.

“We’re finally giving Public Works a home they can be proud of,” Mayor Joseph U. Meyer told the public at last week’s meeting. “A far more stable environment for them to work.”

The sale of the building does come with certain conditions, city officials said. One is that it is contingent upon the sale of the current Public Works site on Boron Drive. Last month, the city announced it would be selling the waste transfer station in Latonia, (which is also the current site of Public Works), to Rumpke for $8 million.

Also Tuesday:

• Commissioners approved a $225,538 contract with DWA Recreation Inc., for the construction of phase one of Barb Cook Park, which was chosen for redevelopment by the ad hoc park advisory group. Barb Cook Park is the third park to be redeveloped through this process (Father Hanses was first in 2017, followed by Peaselburg Park in 2019).

• Commissioners approved a renewal contract for David Lillich as a Contract Officer. This will keep the police force at its maximum 114 authorized officers.

• Commissioners approved entering into a 10-year, non-exclusive, telecommunications franchise agreement with MCI metro Access Transmission Services Corp.

• Commissioners agreed to purchase a 2019 Ford F550 truck from Paul Miller Ford for an amount not to exceed $53,636.70 through the corporate purchasing agreement.

• Commissioners agreed to give an extension to the Devou Good Project, Inc., to install bicycle racks in the public right-of-way. Originally, the project was supposed to be finished by May 1, but due to the pandemic, completion has been delayed. Staff recommended the project be extended to Nov. 1, 2020.

• Commissioners agreed to execute a lease agreement with the Behringer-Crawford Museum for the portion of Devou Park currently being operated by the museum. The lease term is for two years, with the museum having the option to extend for three one-year additions. The city will cover the utility costs up to $40,000 and provide operating support in the amount of $10,000. These terms are the same as the current agreement with The Carnegie.

Near the end of the meeting, which lasted just more than seven minutes, Commissioner Tim Downing noted that as restrictions for COVID-19-related situations are reduced, the public should keep following the rules.

“Continue to stay safe,” he said.

Commissioner Shannon Smith noted that last week was — fittingly — National Public Works Week.

“I just want to give a shout-out to our Public Works team,” she said. “Thank you, guys, for all that you’re doing.”

Lastly, Meyer said that next week’s caucus meeting will include discussions of the budget and its adjustments, and public comment is welcome. Have an opinion?

“Please get them to me,” he said. “We’ll have our chance to talk our way through it.”

The next regularly scheduled Covington Commission meeting will be a caucus meeting held at 6 p.m. on June 2. Residents are encouraged to watch it online, and send in comments beforehand.

Meetings will be broadcast live through the TBNK’s cable and streaming outlets and available at:

• TBNK to watch the live commission meeting Tuesday

City’s website (click on “latest videos” just under the photos of the commissioners

Or watch:
Fioptics channel 815
Spectrum Channel 203

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