Covington receives Brownfield Remediation grant

By Kelsi Langston

For the Miami Valley Today

COVINGTON — The Covington village council met Tuesday evening, during which Village Administrator Kyle Hinkelman shared that the village has received $275,000 from the Brownfield Remediation Grant Program to be used for the removal of the Rudy Elevator property. Hinkelman stated that the plan is to start bidding out the project in July. In his report, he also shared that Phase 1 of the High Street project mostly complete, and Phase 2 has begun. This phase includes the closure of Spring Street to Wright Street, where underground work and utilities have been completed. The project remains ahead of schedule. Mayor Ed McCord advised that due to some health limitations, he was unable to travel throughout the village during the month of June to consider properties for the Mayor’s Beautification Award. He stated that the award program will begin in July.

The council voted to approve an ordinance adopting a policy related to meeting streaming. This policy states that meetings will be streamed live but will not be saved or stored in any capacity. After its third reading, the ordinance was passed on a vote of 5-to-1. A second reading was held for an ordinance allowing a zoning map amendment. This amendment would allow the property located at 301 E. Troy Pike to modify its R2 and NB zoning designations, which would be replaced by an HS designation but keep the flood plane designation on the parcel.

Several first readings were on the agenda. The first was a resolution approving an alternative tax document to be submitted to Miami County. The council waived the three-reading rule and approved the resolution. An ordinance was introduced that would close a portion of Dodd Street at Pearl Street and U.S. 41. Hinkelman stated he sent letters to all residents who live on that section of the street and he heard feedback from two residents who are in support of the ordinance. “Both [residents] strongly support the closure. They would recommend it … they describe a very unsafe environment for their families on that section of rad because of the carelessness that people use when they’re driving through that section,” Hinkelman said, “I did not receive any additional comments or concerns.”

The council also waived the three-reading rule for a resolution establishing a contract with the Covington Exempted Village School District for a School Resource Officer (SRO) from 2022-2024. The officer acts as the SRO during the school year and then fulfills the duties of a village police officer during the summer, which provides a shared benefit for the village and the school district. The fee for service is $112,500 for a two-year contract and the school will be required to pay the village for this service quarterly. The SRO is an employee of the village, and all benefits, pay and discipline are handled by the village and the Police Chief.

Lastly, an ordinance was introduced for the reappropriation of funds for a police purchase of a single item that was intended for the year 2021 but due to procurement issues, was not completed until 2022. The ordinance was waived of the three-reading rule and approved.

The next village council meeting will be held on June 28.