A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Cov mayor’s public plea: ‘Wear your mask’; commission sells surplus properties, approves rehab

By Ryan Clark
NKyTribune reporter

Covington Mayor Joe Meyer had a simple but important message for his city Tuesday night.

“The Coronavirus pandemic is reaching new highs locally,” Meyer said at the end of Tuesday’s regularly scheduled legislative Board of Commission meeting. “It seems to be an extraordinarily challenging situation as the number of cases in Kenton County and Northern Kentucky are simply exploding, and challenging the capacity of our healthcare system.

“So we once again encourage everybody to take the appropriate steps to protect yourselves,” he continued. “Be sure to wear your mask and minimize your public engagement until this incredible infection has passed by.”

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear said Tuesday was the state’s “deadliest day,” of the pandemic, as 33 new deaths were reported, increasing Kentucky’s overall death toll to 1,697 with 2,931 new cases overall.

Meeting virtually once again due to COVID-19 regulations, Commissioners discussed several items including:

Surplus properties

Commissioners approved the selling of two more surplus properties.

The city acquired 316 Altamont Road in 1992 and 344 Altamont Road in 1998, and last month, a Kentucky certified appraiser valued the properties to be worth:

$4,500 for 316 Altamont Road
$5,000 for 344 Altamont Road

City staff recommended the property be sold at the appraised value to Mount Martre LLC, which plans on developing in the area, said Ken Smith, the city’s neighborhood services director.

HONK rehab

Commissioners approved the rehabbing of a single-family home by Housing Opportunities of Northern Kentucky (HONK). The home, located at 2744 Latonia Ave., costs $194,772, and will be payable from Program Year 2020 HOME Community Housing Development Organization (CHDO) Development Project funds.

“HONK will rehab the home using professional and volunteer labor and will sell the home to an income-qualified household through their lease-purchase program,” city documents read. “This project will reduce blight, re-occupy a formerly vacant property, and create an affordable homeownership opportunity for low-income families.”

Learning Grove

Commissioners approved a proposal by city staff to continue the operation of Learning Grove, Inc., located on the IRS site.

Learning Grove provided child care services for federal employees since 2008, but when the IRS Center was closed, it entered into a license agreement with the General Services of America of the U.S. Government.

When the city purchased the property, that second relationship ended, and the city has decided to keep the child care center running, charging the business $2,000 a month for rent of the space.

Animal control

Commissioners heard a first reading Tuesday to incorporate Kenton County’s new stray animal regulations pertaining to community cats into the city’s ordinances.

Meyer explained that a first reading requires no action. “Folks are welcome to take a look at this,” he said. “If you have any feedback, let us know.”

In February, Kenton County revised and re-enacted its animal control ordinance to, among other things, address the management of the community cat population.

Incorporating these into the city code will address Kenton County Animal Services’ Trap-Neuter-Return program, define a community cat, authorize a caretaker for community cats and set out the requirements for anyone acting as a caretaker.

The amended ordinance will get a second reading and vote in two weeks.


Commissioners approved the purchase of eight 2021 Ford SUV vehicles for the police department from Jim Shorkey Ford in an amount not to exceed $287,343.10, with associated equipment from Fuller Ford, Inc., in an amount not to exceed $60,311.

Commissioners also approved an order to purchase one Ford F550 cab and chassis from Paul Miller Ford, via state contract, in an amount not to exceed $52,547; one Ford F550 from KE Rose in an amount not to exceed $38,900; one GVWR truck from FYDA Freightliner Western Star in an amount not to exceed $90,513; and associated equipment from KE Rose in an amount not to exceed $95,750.

Commissioner Shannon Smith was absent Tuesday night.

The next regularly scheduled Covington Commission meeting will be a caucus meeting held at 6 p.m., Nov. 24, 2020. The meeting can be followed live on Fioptics channel 815, Spectrum channel 203, the Telecommunications Board of Northern Kentucky (TBNK) website, the TBNK Facebook page @TBNKonline, and the TBNK Roku channels.

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