Covington’s Children’s Coloring Contest winners announced


COVINGTON — Spirits were high and seats were full at Covington’s Village Council meeting on Monday night as Mayor Ed McCord recognized the winners of the Children’s Coloring Contest.

Fifteen children from grades K-4 were recognized for their artwork. Each winner received a proclamation to take home, a $5 gift certificate, and the first place winner from each grade received a gold chocolate bar. The third place winners were Katie Newhouse, Davis Roeth, Brooklynn Zeller, Hudson Reck, and Ayla Miller. In second place were Corbin Wright, Mykenzie Jacomet, Harper Lynn Moore, Cheyenne McMillian, and Journey Holthaus. First place winners were Ryleigh Dixon, Paisley Mangas, Madyson Jacomet, Alli Masters, and Eli McCord.

Winners of the home decorating contest were also recognized. Each winner received $150, with the people’s choice winner receiving an extra $150, courtesy of the Covington Chamber of Commerce. The winners were: Adam Von Achen for Most Traditional, Angie Weaver for Spirit of the Season, Andy Johnson took the Clark Griswold award, Mitchell Greene won Creative Use of Inflatables, and Adam Von Achen for the People’s Choice.

During his report, Village Administrator Kyle Hinkelman shared he has applied for a $250,000 grant that would allow for improvements to the Stillwater River. The grant would allow the village to repair the riverbeds, raise water levels, and restore fishing to the river. This would all be done at no cost to the village. Hinkelman also took a moment to recap some of the projects the village has completed this year, including finishing the High Street Project, bidding the first phase of Schoolhouse Park, design of the Wastewater Treatment Plant, updating the village’s website, establishing a property maintenance code, economic development, $2.2 million in grant writing and donations, personnel policy updates, creating a strategic plan, Hometown Christmas, and social media growth. He spent a moment thanking the village employees for their hard work and accomplishments over the course of the year.

The first of two discussion items on the agenda was the Government Center request for qualification, which would allow the village to select a design firm for any modifications made to the government center. The current estimate to remodel the building is between $1 million and $2 million, with the estimate for the request for qualification being 10% of that amount.

The budget reflects funds needed for the design, and the village would not have to move forward with the remodel if they decide not to once the design is complete. This will be brought as a formal agenda item at the next council meeting. Also discussed was the village’s application to the water pollution control loan fund, which was ranked second out of 132 applications. The village was also given the largest amount of forgiveness in the state of Ohio for its future wastewater treatment plant, in the sum of $4 million, which will be confirmed by the EPA in the following months.

The council waived the three reading rule and approved three ordinances and three resolutions. The first ordinance approved is the salary ordinance for 2023, an annual ordinance which gives all village employees a 5% raise for cost of living. The second ordinance approved was the adoption of the 2023 budget, and the final ordinance approved was for re-appropriation of budget funds related to the first pay period of 2022. The council approved a resolution amending the village administrator’s contract, which gives the same cost of living increase as the other village employees, and extends the administrator’s contract through Dec. 31, 2025.

Also approved Monday was a resolution authorizing the village to enter into a contract with a new software provider for work orders and asset management. The village’s current software is at the end of its lifespan and will no longer be supported. A resolution to accept a $5,000 donation from the Covington Fraternal Order of the Eagles was approved, with the donation going towards the purchase of a Rolling Rescue Mobile Ballistic shield for Covington Schools.

The council heard the second reading of an ordinance to amend the village employee manual, and a first reading to approve members to village boards and committees based on the Mayor’s recommendations. The council moved to approve the mayor’s recommendations, and tabled the discussion of appointing two new members to the CRA Housing Council until the next meeting.

Please note that in observance of the holiday, the village office will be closed on Monday, Dec. 26. The next village council meetings will be held on Jan. 9, 2023, at 7 p.m. (i.n place of the Jan 2 meeting), and Jan. 23, 2023, at 7 p.m. (in place of the Jan. 16 meeting).

The writer is a regular contibutor to Miami Valley Today.

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