A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Cov commission: Park ordinance to be updated for dog parks, disc golf, more; hears noise ordinance

By Ryan Clark
NKyTribune reporter

When Ben Oldiges was hired two years ago as the city’s Parks & Recreation manager, he was immediately tasked by senior leadership to modernize the city’s code in those

“Modernize it,” he said at Tuesday’s regularly scheduled caucus meeting, “and bring it up to the current time.”

The existing Code could be deemed “out of date,” Oldiges said.

“Some of the new content that we have added would be the process of defining a park and how we would classify a park — whether that would be a regional park, a neighborhood park or a satellite park,” Oldiges said.

Other updates include:

• added language about the establishment and the naming of parks (how to name it after
specific person or event)
• added language that include the use of drones in parks, as well as where and when they can or cannot be used
• added language about the use of mobile food vending or food trucks
• added language about the use of hammocks
• laws and regulations for dog parks
• rules and regulations for disc golf sources and
• an increase to non-residential fees for park reservations.

“We did take a look at a lot of regional parks and National Park facilities,” Oldiges said. “We were kind of coming in under price. We just thought the slight increase would be a benefit for the city.”

The renting of park facilities for non-residents will increase $5, from $75 to $80 per day, for use of Breaden, Volpenhein and Stone Shelters in Devou Park; and from $50 to $55 per day, for other shelters and green space in city parks.

The proposal will have a first reading at next week’s legislative meeting.

Financial Disclosure Statements

“We’ve run into an issue with the submission of our financial disclosure statements to the Area Development District,” Mayor Joseph U. Meyer reported. “As part of our ethics ordinance we are required to file financial disclosure statements with the Area Development District’s Board of Ethics no later than April 30, and what we found is that the disclosure statements that have been filed there have been lost.”

The Mayor said that in an election year, when those candidates could be asked about their disclosures, they could be held accountable if an entity like Area Development District could not provide them.

Instead, he offered another solution, where they could file with the city clerk, who would then pass them on to the Area Development District.

“It’s an irritating problem, but it could become a big problem under different circumstances,” Meyer said.

Commissioner Ron Washington agreed.

“When I filed my disclosure, I tried to call and verify that they received it and I didn’t get any verification at all,” he said. “Matter of fact, when I sent the email they said the person no longer works there.”

Noise ordinance

One month ago, Assistant City Solicitor Logan Todd made a presentation to commissioners regarding a new noise ordinance.

The ordinance had a first reading last month, and will have a second reading and a vote at next week’s legislative meeting.

Hires, Retirements and Promotions

Commissioners heard proposals for:

In the Police Department

• Retirement of Sgt. Don Strange
• Retirement of Officer Phouthakone Homphothichak
• Promotion of Doug Haubner to Sergeant
• New Hire of Sean Sinacori to Police Officer

In the Fire Department

• Retirement of Engineer James Schaefer
• Promotion of Charles Wagner to Engineer

In Public Works

• Promotion of Bill Mattioli to Assistant Public Works Director

BLINK returning

“One other comment from my end is that there was an announcement about BLINK this
morning,” Mayor Meyer said. “BLINK will be present here in Covington in October again this year and it looks like it’s going to be an absolutely tremendous event and a great opportunity for us to show off our community in unique and interesting ways. So, we’ll be looking forward to that.”

Williams absent

Commissioner Michelle Williams was absent from Tuesday night’s meeting, and Tim Downing was present via a video teleconference.

Next Meeting

The next regularly scheduled Covington Commission meeting will be a legislative meeting held at 6 p.m., July 19, at the City Building at 20 W. Pike St. in Covington. The meetings 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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