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$2.4 Million in Sidewalk Repairs, New Internal Auditor Position Top Covington Commission Agenda

A multi-million dollar sidewalk project in South Covington and Latonia as well as changes to the city's finance department following the arrest of its former director top Tuesday's Covington City Commission meeting.

Here is a run-down of what to expect:

New Internal Auditor Position Created, Finance Director Job Description Updated

The city commission will vote on the creation of an internal auditor position. A job description will also be adopted.

Additionally, the job description for a new finance director will likely be adopted, a key development following the arrest of former Finance Director Bob Due on suspicion that he stole roughly $600,000 from the city coffers. Former Kenton County Treasurer Ivan Frye is serving as department director on an interim basis but the permanent position will be advertised soon.

$2.4 Million in Sidewalk Repairs

The $71 million expected to be invested in Covington's infrastructure over the next five years will start to roll out, beginning with a vote on Tuesday.

The Community Investment Plan, approved in late June by the city commission following its development by City Manager Larry Klein and city staff, emphasizes a focus on infrastructure like streets and roads, economic development and neighborhood revitalization, new facilities and recreation like a community healthy living center and skate park, and an upgrade of the city's fleet and equipment.

On Tuesday's agenda, more than $2.4 million will be allocated to repair designated sidewalks that are more than twenty-five percent deteriorated in Latonia and South Covington. Cincinnati-based Prus Construction would be awarded the contract if the commission approves the expenditure.

The plan was approved in June by a vote of 3-2 with Mayor Sherry Carran joined by Commissioners Chuck Eilerman and Steve Frank in supporting it. Frank will not be in town for Tuesday's meeting which could lead to a tie vote if Commissioners Mildred Rains and Michelle Williams maintain their original opposition to the plan.

To see a list of all the sidewalks targeted for repair in the plan, click here.

Hillside Repair Along Eastern Avenue

A tie-back retaining wall near Meinken Field along Eastern Avenue has been designed to prevent further slipping of the existing retaining wall.

A $340,000 contract could be awarded to Harrison, Ohio-based Scherzinger Drilling to repair the hillside slide.

Two nearby properties also appear as separate items on the agenda as the City seeks easements since the new wall will encroach upon them.

Underground Utilities Planned for Downtown

The City aims to enter into an agreement with Duke Energy for the relocation of overhead electric facilities to an underground location on Madison Avenue between Fourth & Fifth Streets. The $85,000 price tag will be covered by Times Star Commons funds which have been used to beautify Downtown Streets over the past year.

When Duke completes its work, contractors will restore the sidewalks with streetscape amenities. That contract, worth $80,000 (also from Times Star Commons funds), will be awarded to Hendy, Inc, the company that was awarded previous bids related to Downtown sidewalks.

Repairs Planned for Parkway Bridge

Parkway Bridge over Highway Avenue is in need of repairs so that restrictions are not placed on heavy vehicles, according to the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet.

The City will consider a bid of $29,500 by Intech Contracting to make the repairs.

Landscaping for Island at Fourth Street & Clay Wade Bailey Bridge

The City will consider entering into an agreement with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet for construction and maintenance of landscaping at the traffic island of one of the City's most heavily trafficked gateways.

The Clay Wade Bailey Bridge dumps on to Fourth Street to a traffic island filled with rocks and weed.

The City hopes to change that, though no decision has been made about whether the work will be completed by city staff or contractors. However, the city arborist and urban forestry board has put together a landscaping plan for that area.

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Traffic island at 4th St. & Clay Wade Bailey Bridge/RCN file

Other notes from Commission agenda:

  • New regulations for excavations in Devou Park will be adopted
  • Covington Police Sergeant David Finan, Jr. will retire after twenty years with the department
  • Stanley Nassano will be appointed to the urban forestry board for a 3-year term

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