Gov. Beshear visit = check for City

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Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear congratulates Covington Mayor Joe Meyer, far left, after presenting him a symbolic check for the ongoing redevelopment of Barb Cook Park. At far right is state Rep. Buddy Wheatley, who represents Covington in the House. Standing next to Wheatley is state Department for Local Government Commissioner Dennis Keene.

$82K grant to fund construction at Barb Cook Park 

COVINGTON, Ky. - Saying “it’s proven that communities with great parks are attractive to businesses,” Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear today handed Covington a check for $81,755 to further the redevelopment of Barb Cook Park in Latonia.
“We were shocked but thrilled when we learned that we’d gotten this money,” said Rosie Santos, Covington’s Parks & Recreation manager.
The grant will be used to fund construction work at the park at the corner of Madison Pike and Ashland Avenue, Santos said.
The City would be seeking bids “any day now” for the building of a new shelter at the park, as well as playground equipment, concrete pads, and other amenities. The City is also set to begin the design of new basketball courts and other attractions at the park.
The award - given by Gov. Beshear’s Department for Local Government (DLG) using money from the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund program - was announced during a check ceremony at New Riff Distillery Warehouse in Newport.
The cities of Wilder, Dayton, and Bromley also received grants.

The playground equipment at Barb Cook Park will be upgraded.

The Governor said he was excited to be in Northern Kentucky with financial help to accelerate the momentum here.
“You can look around and see a special energy,” Beshear said.
He used the opportunity to mention parts of his newly proposed budget that he said would help Covington and other cities, including assistance for firefighters suffering from post-traumatic stress disorders, raises for teachers, pensions for police and others, and the addition of social workers.
He also talked about the rewards of investing in community parks and playgrounds, saying they would pay off in environmental benefits, family togetherness, personal relaxation, more successful business recruitment, and - in the specific case of Barb Cook Park - “tired” kids.
Covington Mayor Joe Meyer, who also spoke at the ceremony, said the announcements were a testament to “collaboration” and saluted the Governor, DLG Commissioner Dennis Keene, and Rep. Buddy Wheatley, who represents Covington in the state House and also was in attendance.
“Parks are the lifeblood of our communities,” Meyer told the crowd of 150 to 200 people. “The rehab of Barb Cook is part of a well-organized, strategic, multi-year plan to invest in our neighborhood parks.”
Under Santos and Neighborhood Services Director Ken Smith, the City spent months seeking public input on improvements to the park. Some $200,000 in federal grant money was set aside in the current fiscal year to buy equipment and fund construction.
The City is working toward securing private donations to add other features, such as a potential street hockey court, restrooms, and a water feature, such as a spray park.
Meanwhile, the City has begun seeking public input on improvements to Goebel Park, the next park in line for redevelopment. Previously, Father Hanses Parks in Lewisburg and Peaselburg Park in Peaselburg were redeveloped.

Mayor Joe Meyer grabs a private audience with Gov. Andy Beshear to talk about issues critical to Covington after the ceremony today in Newport.

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