Village purchases old school property with donation


By Sam Wildow - Miami Valley Today



COVINGTON — The Covington Council approved purchasing the former middle school site with a donation from Covington Savings and Loan during their meeting on Monday evening.

The Covington Board of Education approved selling the site to the village at cost of $20,000 during their last meeting on March 20. The board had the property appraised at $85,000.

“We have received a donation of $20,000 from Covington Savings and Loan,” Village Administrator Mike Busse said on Monday. “This donation is intended to be used to purchase two parcels of land from the Covington Board of Education.”

The sale agreement stipulates that there is a to be a 25-year covenant placed on the property stating that the land can only be used for park and recreational purposes.

Busse previously discussed the village’s plans to create a park at the site, which is currently open green space. The concept included installing a concession area, a splash pad, a stage, walking paths, and a parking area off of Grant Street. Busse estimated the cost of the park at around $750,000.

Also during their meeting, Mayor Ed McCord advised the council and attendees that the village received a grant for the village’s improvement project for the basketball courts in the amount of approximately $64,759 from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ Land and Water Conservation Fund program. McCord said that the village is also expected to receive donations from the Optimist Club for approximately $9,000 and the Covington Community Chest for approximately $50,000.

The grant and donations will allow the village to refurbish the basketball courts with few to no public funds, McCord said.

“That’s a great thing,” McCord said.

McCord praised their engineer for the project, Poggemeyer Design Group, for helping with filing for the grant funding as well as for the community involvement with that grant application. Poggemeyer Design Group is completing the basketball reconstruction design, bidding, and construction administration services at a cost of $17,850.

The council later held the second reading of proposed rate changes to the village’s water and sewer rates.

This ordinance will include an increase of $7.14 per month per equivalent user with a 3 percent annual increase for years 2020 through 2024, Busse said at their last meeting in March.

Beginning May 1, the monthly water usage fee will be $3.75 per 1,000 gallons for the first 6,000 gallons of water and then $3.41 for 6,000 gallons and above, according to the ordinance. The village is also eliminating a meter maintenance fund fee for customers and implementing an $8 monthly water tower maintenance fee per customer unit. Also in May, the sewer monthly usage fee based on water meter reading will be $3.54 per 1,000 gallons of water used. Each of the fees will then increase by 3 percent each year through 2024.

In other news:

The council awarded the 2019 paving project contract to Wagner Paving at a cost of approximately $88,918. They will be repaving Wenrick Street from State Route 41 to Bridge Street as well as the alley between Pearl and Wall streets.

The council also approved participating in the Ohio Department of Transportation’s (ODOT) salt cooperative program for the 2019-20 winter season. Busse said that the village will be buying 140 tons of salt. When asked about the cost, Busse advised that the cost is still unknown at this point.

Following that, the council approved making payments for the ODOT property acquisition and relocation process as part of the High Street reconstruction project. The cost is approximately $27,443. Busse said this is for the properties that they previously purchased on High Street to get those purchases within ODOT compliance for the project.

The council later accepted a grant of approximately $16,359 from the Covington Community Chest for the purchase of a new radio signal repeater for the Covington Police Department. The council then approved purchasing the new equipment from P&R Communications for that same amount.

The council waived the three-reading rule for any legislation that required it.

During the public comment portion of the meeting, J.R. Clarke Public Library Director Cherie Roeth invited the council to celebrate J.R. Clarke serving the community for over 100 years at an open house on Saturday, April 13, at 1 p.m. in the library’s community room. There will be guest speakers, tours, refreshments, and an overview of new services.

Librarian Darlene Brown also spoke about how the library is seeking volunteers to participate in a human flag demonstration on at 3 p.m. on June 29, in the J.R. Clarke parking lot. The library is currently working on making the flag panels for people to hold. Brown said that it was the library’s way of thanking military servicemen and women for their contributions.

Other events coming up include the Give Health Fair on Saturday, April 6, from 9 a.m. to noon at the Covington Eagles Hall. There will also be a community Easter egg hunt at the community park on Saturday, April 13, at 1 p.m.

By Sam Wildow

Miami Valley Today

Reach Sam Wildow at swildow@aimmediamidwest.com

Reach Sam Wildow at swildow@aimmediamidwest.com