Covington to launch Mayor’s Beautification Award; High Street construction underway

By Kelsi Langston

For the Miami Valley Today

COVINGTON — The Covington Village Council met on Monday, May 2, where Mayor Ed McCord reported a great opening day at the park for baseball games and many improvements made to get the park ready for the season, including power washing and a new fence being installed by an Eagle Scout.

McCord also shared that next month, a new program will begin. The Mayor’s Beautification Award will go to one to two properties per month in June, July and August. Awards will come with a decorative yard sign, recognition at council meetings and a matted certificate with a photo of the property.

“The attractive properties will be recognized because they helped build more attractive streets and neighborhoods in the community and helped raise property values for the surrounding property owners,” said McCord. He added that properties will be chosen based on noticeable changes in landscaping, trees, and flowers on the property that increase the overall curb appeal, improve the primary structure of a property and make the property look more attractive including painting, siding, fencing and other elements. Nomination forms will be available on the village’s website soon.

Village Administrator Kyle Hinkelman shared that construction on the High Street project began May 2. More signage is being added throughout the town to redirect traffic along the proper detour route, and greater police presence is being implemented as well. He also shared that Covington has received a Miami County Foundation grant for Schoolhouse Park.

Hinkleman shared an update on Schoolhouse Park, stating that the pavilion area and bathrooms are 75% of the way through the design process. Village administration is hopeful to bid out construction in June that would begin in late summer or early fall. The design of the amphitheater was addressed later in the meeting via resolutions presented to the council. Hinkleman stated that the goal of the village is to bid all items together.

A discussion was conducted regarding meeting streaming and storage. Currently the policy of the village is that meetings are not stored online. It is also policy that official minutes are the minutes that are approved at each meeting. A resolution on this issue is forthcoming.

The council heard the second reading of a police resolution declaring certain village property as surplus and no longer needed for public use and authorizing the disposal of items via trade in, auction or destruction. A second reading was held for a resolution authorizing the mayor’s acceptance of a donation from the Covington Community Chest. The council waived the three reading rule and approved the resolution. Second reading of ordinance to modify expenses and revenues for the village. Based on quarterly modifications to budget and appropriations.

The first reading was held for a resolution authorizing the execution of architectural design services within schoolhouse park. This is for the physical building which includes a stage, single restroom and storage facility. There was also a first reading of a resolution updating the village strategic plan for 2022 to 2023. This includes modifications to goals and benchmarks for the village. The next first reading was a resolution declaring the intention to proceed under the alternative tax document format for the Ohio Revised Code. This is an annual resolution that deals with the way the village interacts with the Miami County Auditors and outlines how the village is required to adopt a tax budget. This resolution paves the way to give Miami County Auditors a 2023 tax budget. The three reading rule was waived, and the resolution was approved.

The council also heard the first reading of a resolution to appoint members to the Covington Area Improvement Corporation. This organization was created in 1966 with the sole purpose to advance, encourage and promote the industrial, economic, commercial and civic development of the community but has been inactive since 2019. The resolution would authorize the mayor to appoint five members to the board. The first reading was held for a resolution to approve authorizations of “then and now” purchase orders and declaring the authorization an emergency. The council waived the three reading rule and approved the resolution. The final first reading was a resolution authorizing a contract amendment for site design services for Schoolhouse Park. This amendment will include the site design work for the amphitheater.

An executive session was held without any action taken.