‘Last call’ for IRS site dinner discussions

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Nearly 140 people have gathered with friends (and sometimes strangers) at Civic Dinners in Covington to discuss what should go on the soon-to-be-vacant 23-acre IRS site. (Photos courtesy of Civic Dinners)

 

COVINGTON, Ky. - Covington residents have a last chance to host or attend dinner parties designed to nurture public conversation about the future of the 23-acre Internal Revenue Service site after the IRS leaves this fall.

Called “Civic Dinners,” the trendy public outreach tool is being used by a City-hired consultant to give residents and others a chance to weigh in how the site should be developed.
 
Close to 140 people have attended over a dozen dinners so far, helping to create a “buzz” about the IRS site and its potential, said Jenn Graham, co-founder and CEO of Civic Dinners, which is working with master consultant Cooper Carry on the IRS project.
 
“The comments we’ve collected so far paint a picture for a truly reconnected Covington and the input gathered is being processed by the Cooper Carry team as they design their first round of concepts for the space,” Graham said. “It was very exciting to read the quotes collected during the various discussions.”
 
Graham said many people enjoy Civic Dinners because conversation around dinner and drinks tends to be more productive and inviting than it would be in a 200-seat assembly hall or a Facebook comment section.
 
Graham said the Civic Dinner process is being kept open through the end of May.
 
To host a dinner or attend one that’s already scheduled, click the “Reconnect Covington” webpage HERE.
 
The website includes a description of the dinners and a guidebook for any host, including a handful of questions to guide the discussion.
 
“It’s not too late to have your vision included in the ideation phase,” Graham said. “Feel free to host a dinner or join one.”
 
About the site
The IRS announced in 2016 that it would close its paper-processing facility in Covington in fall 2019. The sprawling, one-story complex takes up about 17 acres between Fourth and Third streets, with parking on an additional 6 acres. The site is controlled by the federal General Services Administration, but consultant Cooper Carry is helping Covington not only create a conceptual master plan for the site but also develop a strategy to gain development control.
 
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