Covington Council approves Eagle Scout project

By Aimee Hancock - Miami Valley Today

COVINGTON — The Covington Council heard from high school junior Randy Anthony and approved his request for support of his Eagle Scout Service Project during its regular meeting on Tuesday.

Eagle Scout Service Projects give Scouts the opportunity to demonstrate leadership of others while performing a task for the benefit of his community.

“(My project idea) is to put a deck in front of the cabin at the park and a ramp to make it handicap accessible,” Randy said.

According to Administrator Mike Busse, Randy recently presented the project to the Planning & Zoning Commission, which was supportive of the idea.

Busse noted that Randy will provide all labor, both by working himself and by seeking and organizing outside volunteer help.

“There’s still the cost of the labor, which is either $3,404 for synthetic wood, or $1,930 for treated lumber,” Busse said.

Busse noted that he preferred the synthetic wood option, which comes with a 25-year warranty, in the hopes that it will last longer than the treated lumber option.

“The set of old steps there now are in bad shape and one way or another will need to be replaced,” Busse said. “We talked about replacing those a year ago and the project didn’t get off the ground.”

Council approved funding of the project in the amount of $3,404.

Chris Haines, president and chief executive officer for Marias Technology, also addressed council on Tuesday.

“I just wanted to put an end to some speculation and rumor,” Haines said. “The Haines Family — the owners of Marias Technology — have recently formed a foundation called The Newberry Theater Preservation Foundation, and it is a fully-recognized 501(c)(3) through the federal government.”

As of last week, Haines said, the foundation acquired the Newberry Township building in the hopes of renovating the space to be used for public use as an “event center.”

Money to purchase the building was donated to the foundation from Marias Technology, Haines added.

“As of now, we’re in phase one, which includes going through and working on security and stabilization of the building,” he said.

While the building is structurally sound, it is in extreme disrepair, Haines said, with most of the interior having been gutted prior to purchase.

“We are currently working with architects and builders to come up with what the big number really looks like to renovate the building for the use that we are hoping for,” Haines said. “The dollar figure is probably somewhere upwards — at a guess right now — of over $4 million.”

Haines added there are “avenues for that,” in terms of seeking outside funding, and noted that since the building is under ownership of the 501(c)(3), any donation is tax-deductible.

Haines said, at this point, the building will likely be completed and ready to open in four to five years. A capital campaign will be started soon in the effort to attain funding.

Mayor Ed McCord gave a reminder of a public hearing on Monday, Sept. 16, at 7 p.m., to review and obtain public comments on a proposed zoning map amendment for 152 N. High St. If approved as requested, the property would be changed from Central Business District to R-1 Residential.

McCord announced Covington trick-or-treat is set for Thursday, Oct. 31, from 6 to 8 p.m. McCord also gave a reminder for the ham and bean dinner at the Historical Society, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., on Saturday, Sept. 7.

Busse gave updates on several projects throughout the village including basketball court renovations. He said the project has been advertised and will bid on Sept. 12, at 10 a.m. The project is estimated to cost $137,000, which includes a 10 percent contingency.

Busse said the water plant chemical feed room has been advertised and will bid on Sept. 13, at 1 p.m. The project is estimated to cost $126,943, and is being completed at the direction of the Ohio EPA.

The Ludlow Street storm sewer improvements project big on Aug. 30 and the lowest/best bid was from Outdoor Enterprises, of Casstown, for $41,645. At Busse’s request, council waived the three-reading rule and approved the resolution to sign all necessary documents to award the project to Outoor Enterprises.

Council also approved:

• A second reading on a resolution establishing a formal credit card use policy for the village.

• The 2020 Fourth of July celebration, with Jerry Shields as chairperson of committee in charge of planning.

• The first reading of an ordinance creating the Covington downtown redevelopment district.

• To accept the rates of tax as determined by the Miami County Budget Commission for the year 2019.

• Levying assessments on various lots and lands located in the village, waiving the three-reading rule.

The next council meeting will be held on Tuesday, Sept. 16, at 7 p.m.

By Aimee Hancock

Miami Valley Today

Reach the writer at ©2019 Miami Valley Today, all rights reserved.

Reach the writer at ©2019 Miami Valley Today, all rights reserved.