COVINGTON — The Covington Council approved reducing the income tax credit offered to residents who live in Covington but work outside of the village as well as giving a 3 percent raise to village employees during their meeting on Monday evening.
The council approved amended the credit given to income tax paid to other municipalities in order to keep up with the cost of maintaining the village. Resident taxpayers of the village will receive 0.5 percent credit for income paid to another municipality, which is down from the current 1.5 percent — a full credit for income taxes paid outside of Covington, as the village’s income tax is 1.5 percent — according to the ordinance.
Residents who live in Covington and work in another municipality will have to pay income tax in the municipality where they work and pay an additional 1 percent income tax in Covington. Covington residents who both live and work in Covington will not be affected.
According to data from St. Mary’s Tax Department, the village estimated that by reducing the income tax credit, it will receive approximately $260,000 in additional funds. The change will be effective in January 2019.
The council also approved an ordinance that will change the allocation of the village income tax funds. The funds are currently split with 20 percent to the street fund and 80 percent to general fund, but this ordinance will split the funds with to 25 percent going to the street fund and 75 percent going to the general fund.
The council also approved a 3 percent salary raise for village employees.
The council later authorized entering into a two-year contract with Covington Fire and EMS for fire and emergency medical services. The cost for 2019 will be $240,000, and the cost for 2020 will be $247,000. The contract is being paid for by the general fund levies that voters recently renewed during the November election, which generate approximately $153,000 annually.
The council then authorized entering into a two-year contract with Frank J. Patrizio and Nathanial Funderburg for legal services. The cost is approximately $1,300 a month.
The council held three readings of each of those items before voting on them on Monday evening.
In new business, the council accepted and approved the temporary appropriations for next year, authorized the village administrator and fiscal officer to open a Visa business credit card account through Minster Bank, and authorized the village administrator to conduct an internet auction to sell a Swenson Salt spreader. The council waived the three-reading rule on those three items. Village Administrator Mike Busse advised the village credit card will be used to make purchases for the village more secure.
The council also authorized a progress payment of approximately $4,856 to Choice One engineering for the traffic signal and street lighting designs for the High Street project.
Also during Busse’s report, he said that he is currently working on the next revision of the online utility payment system, which will be through Invoice Cloud. This will allow customers to pay their utility bills through their tablets and cell phones by or without logging into their account, Busse said.
During the mayor’s report, Mayor Ed McCord handed out the prize money to the winners of the Covington Holiday Home Decorating Contest, which was sponsored by the village and the Covington Chamber of Commerce.
“They were all really good,” McCord said about the decorated houses.
First place was Adam VonAschen on the 100 block of North Main Street, second place was Bob and Mary Beth Rich on the 400 block of East Walnut Street, third place was Brian Copeland on the 300 block of Debra Street, fourth place was Brent and Amy Welborn on the 300 block of North Main Street, and fifth place was Lee Brown on the 500 block of North Pearl Street.
McCord also said that the government center will be closed on Tuesday, Dec. 25, and Tuesday, Jan. 1. Trash pickup will be delayed one day for customers normally picked up on Tuesday and Wednesday during the weeks of Christmas and New Year’s Day. McCord said that Covington staff will also pick up extra residential trash items Dec. 24 through Jan. 4 at no additional cost.
Reach Sam Wildow at firstname.lastname@example.org