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Covington OKs Earlier Sunday Liquor Sales, Explores Parking Authority

The City of Covington approved an ordinance Tuesday evening to allow for individual liquor sales beginning at 9 a.m. on Sundays.

After weeks of debate by the commission, the ordinance will allow bar-restaurants that serve brunch to open two hours earlier, while still limiting liquor stores to open at 11 a.m.

Some on the city commission were concerned that liquor stores would now be able to open earlier, however, Michael Bartlett, senior assistant city solicitor, said that it is highly unlikely that any liquor store would be able to obtain an individual drink license because the city is already at maximum capacity for such a license, and a liquor store trying to obtain an individual drink license would have to buy out another business’s, potentially costing thousands of dollars.

In the case that a liquor store managed to do so, Bartlett said that the city would have the ability to revoke the license for the liquor store if it became a disruption to the community around it.

Parking authority explored

Covington is also looking at areas around the city in need of improvement for parking.

After hiring a Carl Walker, Inc., an engineering firm based in Michigan, to assess parking around Covington, the city is moving forward with exploring the potential of creating a parking authority.

“This is simply for the proposal to give the city manager the opportunity to dedicate the necessary resources, this is not to actually form a parking authority,” Commissioner Tim Downing said.

City Manager David Johnston said that there are similar cities that have created their own parking authorities and it has proved to be effective, and he believes that this could financially help the city and keep them from operating in a deficit as they develop new parking areas.

“The level of urgency to this is that the developer of Duveneck (Square) says that he has a few good businesses to fill his space very quickly, if we can deal with the parking issue,” Johnston said. “The idea is a parking garage to serve that area. It would not only serve the businesses… but there would also be a public area.”

Johnston said that ABM, the current manager of the city's public parking areas, would still be eligible to manage parking in Covington. The company would be contracted under the parking authority to control the management of the lots.

Written by Carrie Crotzer, RCN contributor