Covington City leaves property tax unchanged; RIPPLE Funding Approved, Lewis is HR Director

By Ryan Clark
NKyTribune reporter

Sometimes you can make money by saving money.

The City of Covington is aware of this fact and it is for this reason that for the fifth consecutive year the Commission has approved the recommendation of the City Treasury Department to keep Covington’s real estate and personal property taxes unchanged: .327 for each valuation of valued or assessable real estate in the amount of US $ 100; and .349 on every $ 100 valuation of all valued or assessable personal property.

City commissioners heard a second reading and voted 4-0 to adopt the proposal at their regular legislative session on Tuesday evening.

Financial officials have stated that they actually make money from low and unchanged taxes – around $ 300,000 if you factor in the number of people upgrading properties or rehabilitating them outright.

The low taxes attract buyers who then come to town to upgrade the area.

RIPPLE Effect funding approved

Last week, commissioners listened to a proposal that had been delayed due to COVID-19 – the 2019-2020 RIPPLE Effect Funding proposals, which include $ 200,000 in community development bloc grants carried over from previous years.

Jeremy Wallace, the city’s community development manager, previously stated that the RIPPLE program helps neighborhoods implement public improvement projects by coordinating city services. The efforts help beautify the area while working with the community.

“Part of that is public improvements, like street landscapes,” said Wallace, “while part of it is neighborhood activism as well.”

The city received two qualified applications for RIPPLE Effect funding, and Wallace said the highest-scoring application was “The Botany Hills Urban Junction,” submitted by the Devou Good Foundation, located at the intersection of Highway Avenue and Altamont Street concentrated.

Possible public improvements include:

Boarding light bulb stops
Tree planting
Bicycle stand
Garbage / recycling container
Dog waste stations
Neighborhood portal signs
Improvements to the existing neighborhood sign / landscaping
Improved zebra crossing
Facade improvements on commercial buildings
Repairs to Parkway Avenue Bridge / Underpass / Access Steps

The Devou Good Foundation will provide $ 50,000 for the project, Wallace said.

The commissioners approved the proposal on Tuesday evening.

Cynthia Lewis hired as HR Director

The commissioners approved the appointment of Cynthia Lewis as Director of Human Resources effective September 13th.

The city announced the opening on July 1st and received 65 applications. A committee composed of the Interim City Manager, Assistant Police Chief, Fire Chief, Director of Public Works and Commissioner Tim Downing interviewed the top candidates.

Lewis holds a bachelor’s degree in Human Relations and Management from Trevecca Nazarene University, is a U.S. veteran and has 24 years of human resources experience, including the last 11 years in local government, where she was the Human Resources Director since 2017.

Board appointments

Mayor Joseph U. Meyer and the Commission have approved these appointments:

Starts 08/15/2021 – Ends 08/14/2024
Appointment of Michele Halloran

Starts 08/15/2021 – Ends 08/14/2024
Appointment of Rob Farrell

Starts 08/25/2021 – ends 12/15/2023
Appoint Pete Nerone

Duration: Starts 08/25/2021
Appointment of Ken Smith (Interim City Manager)

Covington League of Cities Prize

Commissioner Shannon Smith congratulated the city and its administration on their recent Kentucky League of Cities City Government of the Year award.

Covington was honored, according to a city publication: “A $ 3 million public Wi-Fi project, a dramatic riverside remodel, the purchase of 23 acres near the heart of downtown, and economic development announcements, announcing the creation of 2,100 new jobs and nearly $ 90 million in private capital investment, ”among others.

“Covington was – and remains – determined not to come out of the pandemic shocked and shattered, but to emerge capable and ambitious to change the development of The Cov’s future,” said Mayor Meyer. “This award will inspire us to move forward.”

Board meeting

After the meeting, Mayor Meyer announced that the commission would go to an executive meeting to discuss personnel matters.

He said no further business would be done after the meeting.

Next meeting

The next regularly scheduled session of the Covington Commission will be a legislative session to be held on September 7th at 6:00 p.m. in the City Building at 20 W. Pike St., Covington. The meetings can be followed live on Fioptics Channel 815, Spectrum Channel 203, the Telecommunications Board of Northern Kentucky (TBNK) website, the TBNK Facebook page @TBNKonline, and the TBNK Roku channels.

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