Covington Council hears input for park plan

By Aimee Hancock

ahancock@aimmediamidwest.com

COVINGTON — The Covington Village Council heard concerns from residents on Monday regarding proposed plans for the Schoolhouse Park.

Concerns raised Monday included the lack of accessible and inclusive playground equipment, cost, upkeep and maintenance, and the proposed closure of some nearby streets.

Originally called Maple Street Park, the Schoolhouse Park project originated in 2019, becoming a priority for the village. The village first hired a consultant in 2020 to create a design for the park space, which incorporated several amenities, including a splash pad, pavilion and seating, walking paths, lighting, restrooms, a parking lot, and more.

This first design included a plan for the park to be constructed in four phases for a total of nearly $2.8 million, not including $144,740 for basketball courts, which were completed in 2020. Over $300,000 has been pledged or donated by individuals, organizations and businesses, and these funds will be used to leverage grant opportunities. No grants have been obtained as of yet.

A consultant was again hired earlier this year to update the park plan, incorporating the Rudy property, which was recently acquired by the village. Two draft plans have been made, taking into consideration resident input from two park plan open houses. If the latest draft plan is approved by council, new cost estimates will be made to incorporate the various changes made to the overall park plan since its inception in 2019 and determine when and how the village will move forward.

For more details about the proposed park plan and to see results and comments from the open houses and resident survey, visit www.covington-oh.gov/schoolhousepark.

At the Aug. 16 council meeting, council members will vote to approve or refuse the latest draft plan, which will take into account all resident concerns, according to Administrator Kyle Hinkelman.

Also during Monday’s meeting:

• First readings were held on three ordinances: text amendments to the village of Covington zoning ordinance articles 8 and 9; and an ordinance adopting a property maintenance code for the village.

• A tentative start date for the Ohio Department of Transportation’s High Street improvement project is set for April 1, 2022. This project will include lighting, trash receptacles, planters, and additional components.

• The “Covington Hometown Christmas” event will be held Dec. 3 and 4 this year.