360 Fireworks Party

Tuesday, July 10, 2012


by Michael Monks 
The Covington City Commission convened for its regular legislative meeting on Tuesday, July 10, 2012. Here is what went down"
Facade grants for Lewisburg for when new bridge is built
The Commission unanimously approved authorizing the mayor to enter a memorandum of agreement between the City of Covington, the federal highway administration, and the Kentucky state historic preservation officers with concurrence by the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet regarding the adverse effects expected to hit the Lewisburg neighborhood when the Brent Spence Bridge project begins construction. City Manager Larry Klein explained that $420,000 will be placed into a fund for facade grants to be used specifically in that neighborhood to counter the adverse effects, though it could be several years before construction on the new bridge begins. The agreement is good for ten years and has a clause that it can be revisited at the time of its expiration. Mitigating the effects to Lewisburg was one of Covington's top concerns as a final design for the new bridge is selected. "This helps strengthen the neighborhood by reinvesting in it," Klein said.
Backhoe trailer involved in accident to be sold
The trailer that flipped over with a backhoe on it (and a city employee inside the backhoe) will be sold as surplus property. (SEE: Employee pulled from backhoe that flipped in Devou Park) "This is way to get some salvage out of the damaged piece of equipment," Klein explained.
Two Covington Police officers retire
Dennis Wesseler and Dennis Sparks each started at the Covington Police Department in 1990 and now they leave together, each having his retirement approved by the city commission. Wesseler arrived in Covington from Cold Spring's police department. Chief Spike Jones said Wesseler was a "rock star" in South Covington. "He has a huge following out there," Jones said. 
Dennis Wesseler
Sparks arrived in Covington fresh off the mission in Panama that helped bring down former dictator Manuel Noriega. He won two life-saving awards in Covington and was described by Chief Jones as the best administrative lieutenant the department has ever had. "I came here tonight to be honored but it's been my honor serving the citizens of Covington and this is very hard for me," Sparks said.
Dennis Sparks
  • The City will purchase a new Caterpillar steer loader in the amount of $74,645 as the current one is four years past its shelf life according to city engineer Tom Logan. Half the cost will be paid for through the Devou Trust Fund, a fifth from the Drees Pavilion allocation for equipment, a tenth from the Devou Trust for tree removal, and a fifth from the City's capital improvements fund. Half the time, the new piece will be used in Devou Park where it will play a major role in combating invasive species, as it also will along the Licking River Greenway & Trails when being used by the Cuty for other purposes the other half of the time.
  • The Covington Human Rights Commission presented a framed certificate to the City Commission thanking them for extending health care benefits to same-sex partners of City employees.
  • The asset forfeiture fund at the Covington Police Department will pay for $85,500 worth of new laptops for the department
  • The contract of Dr. Paul Spellman was renewed for services for the Covington Fire Department.
  • Guidelines were approved for the City's home buyer assistance program. $139,000 is available in individual opportunities to have $5,000 put toward lender-required down payments.
  • Eight firefighters, two EMS workers, and two police officers were given pay increases.
  • Jennifer Stein of Kenton Hills was appointed to the Devou park advisory committee.
New mural for Latonia to be hung in school
Artist Tammy Stephens, well known for her work on the popular mural in Helentown, showed off a new mural for Latonia. Though much smaller in scale compared to the one in Helentown, it was created in the same spirit by bringing together local children to help. Much of the work was done during the Latonia children's festival. It will be displayed at Latonia Elementary.

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