A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Covington approves Protective Life agreement, another step in changing city’s economy

By Ryan Clark
NKyTribune reporter

In the past, Covington was always known as a river-based, manufacturing town. Now, there’s a new economic sector that produces the most jobs in the city — finance and insurance. Over 20 percent of the jobs in the city are in those realms, Mayor Joseph U. Meyer said at Tuesday night’s regularly scheduled commission meeting.

The commission was again meeting virtually due to COVID-19 precautions.

So why all the talk of insurance and finance employment? Because the city officially welcomed the relocation of Protective Life Insurance Co. — the seventh regional or national headquarters to move to Covington in 2020.

The company will move its regional office to the RiverCenter, where it will lease 67,000 square feet and bring in $18.3 million of private investment, as well as 90 jobs at an average salary of $85,000 annually. That brings a total of more than 2,000 jobs relocated to the city of Covington in 2020.

Over the next five years, the company is expected to create 165 more jobs, Economic Development Director Tom West said.

Due to the new payroll tax revenue coming in, the city will offer a six-year, 1 percent payroll incentive for all new jobs the company relocates and creates. The city expects to realize approximately $5 of new revenue for every $1 forgone.

“I want to take my hat off to the Economic Development Department for scoring a win for our city,” said Commissioner Ron Washington. “When it comes to the Protective Life Insurance Company bringing so many high-paying jobs here to our tax base.”

Mayor Joseph U. Meyer agreed.

“I want to agree and reinforce what Commissioner Washington had to say,” Mayor Meyer said. “Having Protective Life Insurance here in Covington is a really nice addition to our city and it’s really reflective of the type of change that the economy here in Covington has undergone in the past several decades.

“Protective Life is moving into the sweet spot of our local economy, and has lots of brethren in the insurance and finance sector that they can relate to and work with,” he continued. “We welcome Protective Life and look forward to a long and positive working relationship.”

Code Enforcement Inspectors

Commissioners approved the hiring of three new code enforcement inspectors.

Richard J. Dames, who was working part-time for the city as a code enforcement officer; Nick Banister, formerly a code enforcement officer, deputy fire marshal and department emergency coordinator for the City of Millcreek, (Erie) Pa.; and Jeri Asher, an experienced housing inspector who has worked for the city’s Housing Choice Voucher Program, are all expected to start this week.

Glenway/Wallace Ave. Landslide project

The Commission approved a Department of Public Works request for a change order to a contract with ECS Midwest, LLC for the Glenway and Wallace Avenue Levee Landslide project, for an amount not to exceed $53,950.

That brings the total of the project to $102,288.

Chris Warneford, public works director, said last week that additional areas of instability were discovered next to the landslide, and those areas must also be investigated, if the entire issue is to be resolved.

Audit report

Mayor Meyer was generally pleased with the 2020 fiscal year audit report presented last week by Heather Cochran, of RFH, PLLC.

The comprehensive annual financial report was favorable, as Cochran noted that the city has “improved its financial situation quite a bit over the last few years.”

Cochran said 2021 would likely be a tougher year due to the ongoing pandemic, but said the city seemed to be well situated, with a “healthy reserve for the future.”

There were still two “findings” presented in the report, Meyer said, which was an improvement over the last audit, which showed five findings, or areas of improvement.

This year, these findings included issues with accounting for construction grants and audit adjustments.

“We want to work hard to eliminate (findings), and we have made improvements,” Meyer said. “The city’s financial condition is strong, and it is headed in the right direction, and that is something we couldn’t always say.”


Jacob Noe was hired as a patrol officer, and contracts were renewed for Wesley Cook and David Finan Jr.

Fire Department Chief Mark Pierce was approved to purchase 36 self-contained breathing apparatus and associated equipment for $298,429, paid for through the unassigned balance fund and paid back over five years out of the fire department budget.

Next meeting

The next regularly scheduled Covington Commission meeting will be a caucus meeting held at 6 p.m., Jan. 19. 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.

Related Posts

Leave a Comment