Village continues work on Schoolhouse Park project


By Kelsi Langston

For Miami Valley Today

COVINGTON — The Covington Village Council discussed and considered the ongoing Schoolhouse Park project at the Tuesday, Sept. 5, meeting.

During the meeting, a second reading was held for a resolution to name a section of roadway in Schoolhouse Park. If approved, this resolution would name the roadway Buccaneer Way.

Council also heard the second reading of a resolution authorizing Hinkelman to accept a bid for the pavilion and splash pad portion of Schoolhouse Park. The bid, which came in lower than the estimated cost of the project, comes from Westerheide Construction. The village advertised to 38 bidders and received bids from three contractors, none of whom are local.

Council member Amy Welborn raised concerns over timeliness and lack of completion on a prior project that Westerheide did in the village. Hinkelman advised that by law, the village is required to accept the “lowest and best” bid, and although “best” could be considered subjective, he could not advise on whether the village can deviate from the lowest bid.

Council members were advised to compile a list of questions and concerns to be sent to the village’s legal counsel for review before the next meeting, as legal counsel Frank Patrizio was absent. Third readings for both resolutions will be held at the next council meeting on Monday, Sept. 18 at 7 p.m.

Village Council also approved the adoption of the Miami County Hazard mitigation five-year update and discussed villages funds and forthcoming levies during the meeting.

Council minutes from the two prior meetings were also approved. Council waived the three-reading rule in order to approve a resolution to accept Miami County rates of tax. According to Village Administrator Kyle Hinkelman, every year the village is obligated to accept the county’s estimate of village funds for the upcoming year. The county estimates an income of $161,649.10 for the inside 2.8 mil general fund and $17,319.55 for the .3 inside millage for police pensions. There are two voted-in general fund levies that the village obligates to the fire department, and those are expected to bring in a combined total of $162,518.42. These funds are provided annually to the fire district per the contract agreement between the village and the fire district. There is a third fire and EMS levy which is estimated to bring in $106,920.01. The two general funds expire at the end of 2023. In November, residents will have the opportunity to vote in creating a single fire and EMS levy to replace the two separate general fund levies. It was noted that the village is estimated to receive $2,000 less for their local government fund, which is money from the state of Ohio’s budget.

Council member Dawn Duff was absent at the Tuesday evening meeting.

The writer is a regular contributor to Miami Valley Today.

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