Covington adopts Schoolhouse Park plan


By Aimee Hancock

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COVINGTON — The Village of Covington Council passed a resolution Monday to adopt the Schoolhouse Park master plan, and authorized the village administrator to begin applying for grant funding opportunities to help construct the park.

The resolution was passed five to one, with council member Dawn Duff voting against.

Prior to the vote, Village Administrator Kyle Hinkelman noted that the approval of the master plan does not obligate the village to spend any money.

“(This is the adoption of) a plan that allows the village to go out and ask for money. When you file an application for funding, if you go to a state program or a local program, one of the questions is, ‘What is the plan that you intend to follow?’ This plan allows us to do that,” Hinkelman said. “That’s not obligating the village to any funding, that’s not obligating the village to any individual element, that’s not obligating the village to the full cost of whatever the park ends up being.”

As each individual element of the park is considered, it will need to be brought before the council for final approval, Hinkelman said.

Council also heard from village residents during the public comment segment of Monday’s meeting prior to the vote.

Several residents shared their concerns about the park plan. Issues included the plan’s intended closure and re-routing of nearby streets, which some residents feel is unnecessary and detrimental to those who utilize these roads on a regular basis.

According to the plan, Grant Street, from the northern portion of the basketball courts south to the intersection of University Street will be vacated; Maple Street, from the alley west of the Rudy Property to the alley east of the basketball courts will be vacated; the alley west of the Rudy Property will be improved to serve north and south traffic, so Maple will now bend north to Ash Street; and Ash Street from College Street to the improved alley west of Rudy property will become one-way heading east.

Several residents also feel the proposed size of the park is too large and costly given the size of the village.

Council also approved a resolution to levy a special assessment for lighting districts, and a resolution to accept the terms of the OneOhio settlement, allowing the village to receive just under $10,000 to go toward abatement of the opioid epidemic.

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