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Devou Park Event Center, City Trees Top Covington Commission Agenda

Plans for a new event center in Devou Park will be discussed at Tuesday's Covington City Commission meeting.

A concept design has been developed and while any action taken Tuesday won't necessarily commit the city to constructing the facility, it would allow Hub & Weber Architects to create a detailed design in order to get a cost estimate and construction documents.

Plans for a possible event center on the site where the current Club House sits were announced in January last year. The club house would be razed and the new facility could host lower-cost receptions and events that some customers could not otherwise afford at neighboring venues like the posh Drees Pavilion in the park.

It would also serve as a new club house and pro shop for park golfers.

A year ago, the Devou Park advisory committee and Devou Properties Inc. committed $465,000 to the project. The overall price tag was previously said to land between $3 and $4 million.

Covington City Commissioner Steve Frank vowed in November to stop the plans. Some residents of Park Hills who live adjacent to the site raised concerns about the project.

"It's going to hemorrhage cash," Frank told The River City News at the time. "They don't have enough capital. They need another million at least."

"There will be huge cost overruns. I have enough experience looking at projects to know that they are going to be way over budget."

"(The park) is for passive recreation, not for holding events," Frank continued, "particularly near residences."

Also on Tuesday's agenda are plans for Devou Park fund allocations.

City hopes to harvest tree saplings at Boone County facility

The city commission will consider entering into an agreement with Sand Run Nursery & Preserve in Boone County for the purpose of planting, maintaining, and harvesting saplings for urban forestry efforts.

Founded by Mary & Paul Hemmer, Jr, to promote urban forestry efforts, Sand Run sits on 210 acres, 160 of which have been dedicated to woodland plantings, animal habitats, and trails, according to its website.

The site was formerly littered with abandoned vehicles and more than 40,000 automobile tires. It was resurrected in the late 1990s and now features a 12,000 square foot barn and education center that opened in the summer of 2001.

If approved, once the saplings mature, the trees would be planted throughout the city.

Other notes from the agenda:

  • $17,805 from the city's bond funds would be paid to Hendy, Inc. to cover unexpected expenses related to additional work involving the placement of utility poles underground
  • $564,436.65 will go toward more street re-surfacing Downtown with the work being done by Bluegrass Paving. The funds come from federal grants and gas tax collections from the general fund.
  • $41,300 for the installation of ramps along resurfaced streets with the work performed by Hendy, Inc. The funds come from federal grants and gas tax collections from the general fund.

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Photo: Club House at Devou Park/RCN file