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Congressman, Mayor Meet to Discuss Future of Covington IRS Site

Covington Mayor Joe Meyer and Congressman Thomas Massie met in Washington, D.C. last week to discuss the future of the IRS site in the city.

The IRS plans to shutter its processing center in Covington in late 2019, eliminating roughly 1,700 jobs and millions of dollars in tax revenue for the city.

In a Facebook post, Massie explained the nature of his meeting with Meyer and officials from the federal government.

"Mayor Meyer is working hard for the people of Covington, and I'm doing everything I can to support him in this effort," Massie said. "In fact, this is the second meeting I've arranged in my office with the (General Services Administration) and Mayor Meyer. In May, I set up a meeting with the Mayor and Dan Mathews, Commissioner of the GSA's Public Buildings Service. We have a third meeting already planned with GSA six months from now to make sure everything is on track. Cooperation between local and federal officials without regard for party lines is essential to making projects like this successful."

Recently, the City of Covington contracted with Atlanta-based Cooper Carry to begin a 10-month process of evaluating its options for the site. That contract is valued at more than $444,000.

Cooper Carry's contract outlines a four-phase process divided into its major tasks: Investigate, Illuminate, Innovate, and Implement.
 
It will end with the city owning a "Final Strategic Master Plan" that includes conceptual drawings of road layout, general building layout, land use, parks and green space, and recommendations for land use, zoning, transportation, public facilities, public sector development sites, ideal mix of uses, building masses and heights, landscape concepts, and connectivity.
 
City Manager David Johnston said the city has no preconceptions for the study other than two goals: to offset the estimated $1.2 million in payroll tax revenue that will be lost when the IRS leaves, and to use the site to integrate at least five different neighborhoods that it touches, The River City News previously reported.

"Many constituents know that I serve on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, but my six-year membership on the Oversight and Government Reform (OGR) Committee will be the most consequential for this project," Massie said. "As it turns out, the Government Operations Subcommittee of OGR, on which I also serve (with my good friends Rep. Jim Jordan, Rep. Mark Meadows, and Congressman Jody Hice) will be responsible for approving the final transfer of this building site."

-Michael Monks, editor & publisher

Photo via Thomas Massie's office