Covington swears in council members

By Kelsi Langston

For the Miami Valley Today

COVINGTON — Four council members were sworn in by Mayor Ed McCord at Monday’s village of Covington Council meeting. This included three new members, Julie Blumenstock, Derrick Canan, and Amy Welborn, as well as returning council member Dawn Duff. Council voted to elect council member Jesse Reynolds as council president for the year 2022.

There were four resolutions approved after their first reading, including a resolution appointing two council members, Julie Blumenstock and Derrick Canan, to the CRA Housing Board. Also passed was a resolution approving the final legislation put in place before the village enters into partnership with ODOT on the High Street Improvement Project.

The third resolution was in support of an application submitted for a $275,000 grant from the Ohio Department of Development. If received, the funds will go toward the demolition and removal of the Rudy Elevator property.

“As you may or may not be aware, the village has been working to remove that property since we purchased [it] in July of 2021. This program that exists is through the state of Ohio. There are a number of requirements with the program, but it is a Brownfield Remediation Program, of which the old Rudy Elevator property qualifies,” Village Administrator Kyle Hinkelman said. According to Hinkelman, if the application is approved, the village would be notified in February and the demolition process could begin in March.

The fourth and final resolution passed authorized the approval of a donation agreement between Upper Valley Medical Center and the Village of Covington. UVMC is donating $450,000 toward Phase 1 of the Schoolhouse Park Project. The first phase of the new park, which will begin in spring of 2022, includes creation of event space, walking paths, construction of restrooms, pavilion, splash pad, parking, sidewalks, as well as construction of storage and water pump facilities for the splash pad. In November, the village applied for a grant that would provide an additional $500,000 toward the project. It is estimated that Phase 1 will cost $1,000,000.

In other news, Hinkelman announced that the Verizon Tower project will be moving forward, which will bring better Verizon service to residents of Covington. He also shared that all council meetings going forward will be streamed via YouTube, and an updated calendar with meeting dates and times is located on the village website. It was noted that the next meeting will be held on Tuesday, Jan. 18 due to a national holiday, and that Jan. 31 will serve as the first meeting for the month of February due to travel plans. The second meeting for the month of February will be on Monday, Feb. 7.