Covington Council names new park

COVINGTON — The Covington Council voted on School House Park as the name of the new village park, located on Maple Street, during its regular meeting Monday.

The name highlights the park land’s history as the former location of Covington High and Middle Schools. The park is still under construction, which will be completed in phases.

Phase one will include construction of a splash pad, band stand/pavilion, seating, a walking path, drinking fountains, and benches. This phase is estimated to cost $823,000 to complete. Phase two will include construction of a concession stand/restrooms, lighting, and picnic tables, at an estimated cost of $932,000. Phase three will include fencing and curb/perimeter sidewalks, for a cost of $535,000. Phase four will include a parking lot for an estimated cost of $500,000.

Earlier this year, the installation of community basketball courts was completed for a cost of $144,740. The courts, located catty-corner from the main park, is now open for use.

The project is currently entering into phase one and the village is in the process of applying for a $410,000 land and water grant through Ohio Department of Natural Resources. As part of this, the village will need to show that it is able to match those funds. Currently, a total of $180,000 is committed to this phase of the project.

The village is asking residents to consider making a financial donation to the park project.

“No amount is too small or too big,” said Mayor Ed McCord.

Contributions to the project are tax-deductible. Checks should be made to the Community Chest with a note on the memo line denoting the park fund. Checks may be mailed to: Village of Covington, 1 S. High St., Covington, OH 45318.

In other business:

• According to administrator Mike Busse, invoices from the 2020 Sidewalk Program have been mailed out to all affected property owners.

• Busse gave an update on the water plant filter media replacement project, stating A&N Construction has completed the blasting and refinishing the inside of Filter No. 2. They will begin reinstalling the filter media and putting Filter #2 back together on Friday of this week. Work on Filter No. 1 will begin next week.

• The renewal paperwork for the existing 2.5-mil levy, for the purpose of providing and maintaining fire and EMS services and related expenses, has been filed with the Board of Elections to appear on the ballot. This is a straight renewal and is not an increase in millage.

• The water and sewer taps for Sweet Treats have been installed. Digging for footers will begin later this week, Busse said.

• The village has received its share of the CARES Act funds in the amount of $80,585.18. Council voted to waive the three-reading rule and to pass an ordinance amending the village of Covington’s 2020 budget to reflect the money received. This amendment is necessary to allow for previously unbudgeted, unaccounted for and unforeseen expenditures specifically due to the public health emergency caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

• Council held the first reading of a resolution authorizing the village administrator to sell 110 N. Pearl St. to the Newberry Preservation Foundation, an Ohio not-for-profit corporation, for a sale price of $20,000. This property is part of the Covington Downtown Redevelopment District and will be re-platted as part of the Newberry Theater Project company.