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An uplifting meeting at Covington City Hall Tuesday night as the Commission approved an incentive for one growing company to continue its growth here and also approved an incentive for a Lexington company to expand in Mainstrasse. Additionally, plans for a new facility in Devou Park and a new vehicle for the fire department were approved. 
 
Here's the rundown:
 
TIER 1 PERFORMANCE SOLUTIONS TO STAY AND GROW IN COVINGTON
Here's how Tier 1 describes itself on its website:

TiER1 provides end-to-end human performance solutions that enable strategic initiatives. We help you take an initiative from idea to results, bridging the gap between “big picture” strategy and the “in-the-trenches” knowledge needed to make it happen.

While that may sound like a bunch of executive speak, the good news is that whatever it means, they'll be doing it Covington. Multiple other cities had courted the growing firm that has its roots on Madison Avenue and grew into a space at the Odd Fellows Hall. But instead of bolting like Omnicare and Nielsen, Tier 1 is the newest tenant of the beleaguered RiverCenter Towers. "This is a very important company here in Covington," said Jackson Kinney, Covington's Community Development Director. "It's had a great amount of growth and we expect that to continue."

Most of the credit for keeping Tier 1 in Northern Kentucky's capital city went to Mayor Chuck Scheper, who missed Tuesday night's meeting due to the death of his mother-in-law. "Tier 1 had one and a half feet outside this community" before Scheper got involved, said Commissioner Steve Casper. "This is a turning point of stabilization for us."

"This is the beginning of many wins for us," Commissioner Steve Frank said. "Rather than getting into corporate bribery we are going to do our best to grow companies from the ground up."

"This is a Covington business success story and they're exactly the type of company we should be proactively seeking to fill the RiverCenter Towers and elsewhere in the city," said Commissioner Shawn Masters.

"It's a big shot in the arm that we needed right now," said Commissioner Sherry Carran. 

"This shows their confidence in the future growth of Covington," said City Manager Larry Klein. "They were being wooed by other cities and chose Covington to grow in." The city will vote on more incentives on January 24.

GOODFELLAS PIZZA IS ON ITS WAY TO MAINSTRASSE
And with it will come 30 - 35 jobs. The commission voted to approve an assessment moratorium which allows the business to pay city property taxes at the level set before the owners (BC Investments) redevelop their building at 603 Main Street. Goodfellas has two locations in Lexington and was voted the best pizza in that city. I hear that they will be open very late (like 4:00AM late and will deliver, too.)Click the link for the original story from The River City News when the story was broken right here on this exciting development.

NEW CONCESSIONS STAND/RESTROOM FACILITY APPROVED FOR DEVOU PARK
This new facility will serve patrons attending events at the bandshell and will also serve as a restroom stop for every day park-goers. The bid of $400,000 by Mark Spaulding Construction (based in Florence) was the lowest and came in at $68,000 than what was estimated by the City. The money for this project comes from profits from the Drees Pavillion.

NEW FIRE VEHICLE APPROVAL REFLECTS FOCUS ON INFRASTRUCTURE
The commission approved the purchase of a 2012 Ford Expedition at a cost of $37,891.72. Fire Chief Chuck Norris explained that the new vehicle will be more than just a mode of transportation for a supervisor. "It's an office, an emergency command post, it carries equipment and information," Norris said. The chief went on to explain that the department lost two vehicles to mechanical and other failures and that much of the fleet is in need of replacement. City Manager Larry Klein explained that while making challenging decisions during the establishment of this year's budget, the City committed to spending more money on critical infrastructure including the fleets of emergency services. "This represents one of several additional moves to improve public infrastructure," Klein said, noting that this year's budget includes $1.5 million for such projects, one million dollars more than the previous year.

TANK TO LEASE PARKING LOT TO CLEAR COMMUTERS FROM MAINSTRASSE LOT
Also approved was a lease agreement between the City and the Transit Authority of Northern Kentucky involving the parking lot underneath the Clay Wade Bailey Bridge. TANK will use the lot as a park-and-ride opportunity for commuters, many of whom currently park at the Mainstrasse lot. The lease is for one year with a 60-day "out clause" should either party hope to terminate the agreement. TANK will have exclusive access to the lot.

COVINGTON IRONWORKS, LLC WILL NOW BE RELOCATED FROM STEWART BLDG
Wgen the City bought the old Stewart Ironworks building, the agreement included the relocation of the tenant. The commission approved $228,353 payable from Community Block Development Grant funds to begin that process. Assistant City Manager Larisa Sims also reminded everyone of the $250,000 grant the City received for its plans to clean-up and redevelop the building.

NOTES
The master plan for Linden Grove Cemetery was approved; Monday, January 16 was designated as a holiday honoring Martin Luther King, Jr. (The city's annual march starts at 5:00PM that evening at MLK Blvd.); Condolences were offered to the family of longtime city employee Shirley Frances Fry as well as Mayor Scheper's family for the loss of his mother-in-law, and to the family of local attorney Pete Summe who died last week.

Written by Michael Monks, editor & publisher of The River City News