By Aimee Hancock
COVINGTON — The Covington Village Council on Tuesday voted to authorize a $1,181,785 contract with Poggemeyer Design Group for the design of a wastewater treatment facility.
According to Administrator Kyle Hinkelman, as part of the contract, PDG is required to help facilitate, complete, and submit all paperwork for the village to obtain loans and grants for the project. They are also required to manage the grant and loan process and opportunities to help the village meet all local, state, and federal requirements.
This will include an Ohio Division of Environmental & Financial Assistance grant. The village will first apply for a $775,000 grant to go toward design cost and will later apply for a construction grant. No local match is required.
PDG will also provide additional construction administration services as needed for a project of this scale, which includes providing additional plans necessary for onsite changes, onsite construction observation, and surveying and staking of the site.
In other news, the village is looking for volunteers to serve on several boards, including the Covington Area Improvement Corporation Board, the Community Reinvestment Area Housing Council, and the CRA Tax Incentive Review Council.
According to Hinkelman, these boards have specific membership requirements when it comes to representation.
“All three boards need volunteers who are invested in the community and want to help guide future development opportunities and policies within the village related to economic development,” he said.
Anyone interested in volunteering may contact Hinkelman by email, at [email protected], to learn more about detailed expectations and guidelines for serving.
Also during Tuesday’s meeting, council approved two amendments to the village zoning ordinance, including within one section that defines what is allowed and not allowed within zoning districts, including the regulation of things such as communication towers and adult entertainment. The second amendment was made to the zoning ordinance article, which covers district regulations. This includes storage of vehicles, accessory structures, gutters, fences, and sidewalks.
Council then voted to adopt a property maintenance code related to exterior maintenance of properties within the village. According to Hinkelman, this ordinance centralizes many rules and regulations that are already required of property owners. This ordinance will allow for penalization of those who do not comply with the standards.
Hinkelman noted the village intends to use this ordinance as a reactionary option when property owners are not investing in their properties and will, for the most part, be complaint-based. Hinkelman said the village does not have the staff to be proactively going after each and every property issue, but it will allow the village a way to hold owners accountable if property issues continue to go unfixed.
The village is working to appropriate right-of-way space from 68 properties on High Street in preparation for the Ohio Department of Transportation project, which will include the reconstruction and widening of High Street by one foot on each side of the road to allow for parking and traffic. This requires that some property owners on the street will have easements, temporary easements, or other land that will be purchased in order to be put in the public right-of-way.
The deadline to finalize these right-of-way acquisitions, in order to keep the project on schedule, is Sept. 21, 2021. Council passed a resolution of attention on Tuesday to appropriate these properties for temporary and permanent easement purposes for the project. Affected property owners have been contacted by the village consultant regarding acquisition of these spaces and residents are encouraged to complete the required paperwork by the Sept. 21 deadline.