Open House to showcase new campus in Peaselburg
COVINGTON, Ky. – Consider this a (somewhat) belated change of address notice: Covington Public Works has a new home.
Crews from the department that maintains the City’s infrastructure settled into their new address at 1730 Russell St. in Peaselburg a little over a month ago, gradually moving trucks, equipment, inventory, and office furniture from their former complex at the end of Boron Drive in Latonia.
Making the move to the new building took some time, however, because the nature of Public Works’ mission doesn’t lend to closing up shop.
“We weren’t in and officially operating until about five weeks ago,” said Assistant Public Works Director Bill Matteoli. “Our work couldn’t stop, so we had to make the move over time.”
Supply chain challenges related to the building renovation also delayed the move.
For years, Public Works resided at the Boron Drive location, neighbors to a waste transfer station that produced a smell that Matteoli said none of them will miss.
Then in April 2020, that property was sold to Rumpke Waste & Recycling to make way for that that company’s new Northern Kentucky headquarters. At the same time, the City purchased the 3.68-acre property at 1730 Russell, which included a 68,000-square-foot building that used to house Cincinnati Tag & Supply. Hub+Weber Architects redesigned the vacant warehouse-like building, and Radius Construction carried out the work to transform the space into a suitable, functional facility.
The new home provides substantial benefits.
“This is more modern, and more condensed,” Matteoli said. “We were in a gated area in our other location, so most of our equipment was outside. The warehouse area here is bigger, so being able to store our diesel trucks inside for the winter is good.”
A quick stroll through the facility shows equipment that sheds light on the massive list of things that Public Works does to maintain the city’s streets and sidewalks, parks, facilities, fleet, and urban canopy. Operations include, for example:
- Filling potholes.
- Paving alleys and road surfaces.
- Repairing sidewalks, curbs, and catch basins.
- Sweeping streets.
- Plowing snow.
- Collecting leaves.
- Cutting grass and weeds in public areas, including on the flood levees.
- Pruning, removing, and planting trees.
- Maintaining parks, playgrounds, and ballfields, plus repairing playground equipment.
- Making signs and banners.
- Upkeep on firehouses and the police station.
- Maintaining and repairing police cruisers, fire trucks, ambulances, and dump trucks.
It takes a lot of “stuff” to make a City function, and that “stuff” has to be stored and maintained somewhere. The building and yard at 1730 Russell has room to house everything from traffic lights to street signs to motor oil to truck parts to string trimmers to plows to a salt dome that protects 1,300 tons to 1,500 tons of road salt from rain and snow.
City Manager Ken Smith said the department deserved the nicer setting.
“The City simply can’t function without Public Works, it’s their work that helps the City operate,” Smith said. “But whereas they’ve always provided high-level services, this more-modern facility will help them do so in a more efficient manner.”
The City is hosting an open house to show the Public Works’ home off to residents.
The Open House is Friday, Aug. 12 from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., with a ribbon cutting officiated by Mayor Joe Meyer at 2 p.m.