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Historic Preservation Projects Focus of Covington Commission Meeting

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COVINGTON, Ky. – Although lighter than usual, the agenda for Covington’s Board of Commissioners meeting Tuesday night was heavy on historic preservation projects.

Three applications for Kentucky Heritage Council grant funds were approved by the Board. Each application addressed a specific historic preservation project.

The first grant application was for $3,000 for the 2017 Northern Kentucky Restoration Weekend, the sixth annual for the education workshop. The weekend focuses on preservation education for historic homeowners and is free to participants. Past topics have included historic wood windows, energy efficiency, tax credits, and historic landscaping.

The second application was for the hiring of a consultant to conduct a historic resources survey of the MainStrasse Historic Preservation Overlay Zone. The survey will identify which structures in the historic neighborhood are considered contributing or non-contributing. The contributing or non-contributing status of a structure has a significant impact on the types of alternations allowed. Currently, Covington does not have a historic resource survey of MainStrasse.

The third application is for the hiring of a consultant to complete a nomination of Devou Park to the National Register of Historic Places. Listing on the National Register recognizes the historic significance of a location. Devou Park has a rich history, with several Civil War batteries located on the western end and serving Covington as a place of recreation since the early 1900s.

Each application has a 40 percent cost match requirement. Covington plans on providing the match through staff time rather than City funds.

Also approved by the Board was an agreement between Covington and CSX Transportation to reimburse the City for costs associated with maintaining CSX property. CSX owns property along its rail lines as well as several other parcels in Covington.

Covington didn’t find the maintenance performed directly by CSX to be adequate and will instead maintain the property itself on a more frequent basis using contracted services.

Results for the second quarter of the City’s fiscal year were presented. Covington’s Interim Finance Director, Lisa Desmarais, said the City is “cautiously optimistic” that finances are looking good. Overall General Fund revenue is up one percent over budget projections and departmental spending is on target. Beginning next month, budget updates will be presented on a monthly basis rather than quarterly.