haven’t been changed since the 1970s and were still only $3.
The city council agreed that it wouldmakenosense to pass higher parking fines if they weren’t going to be enforced by the Covington Police Department to which Covington Police Chief Stacey Cotton responded that his department was willing and ready to enforce any new parking ordinance passed by the council.
The ordinance was originally going to exclude the parking spaces that are contiguous to the square, but after vigorous opposition from some members of the Parking Authority the council agreed to include the inner ring square parking in the changes.
Denise Spires, owner of Spires Interiors & Gifts and a member of the Parking Authority, said the whole point of changing the parking ordinance was to avoid a lockdown on parking on the square, especially on prime parking in the inner ring.
“We were trying to safeguard parking for the customers,” Spires said, adding that it wasn’t a good idea to penalize shoppers with parking tickets when they were the ones bringing their business to the square while not penalizing “the good old boy network.”
Spires said it is the white-collar professionals who have their offices on the square and use the inner ring that are tying up all of the best parking by arriving at 8 a.m. and not leaving until the evening when most of the stores on the square are closing. She suggested requiring the professionals to park a block and a half away and walk to their offices on the square.
Lee Mayfield, co-owner of Mayfield Ace Hardware and a member of the Parking Authority, said the Parking Authority has been struggling with a lack of adequate square parking for some time now.
“If the hotel [and civic center] comes in, what will that do to parking around the square?” Mayfield said. “We want to be pro-active on that before it becomes a problem.”
A fine structure for the parking ordinance will be worked out later by the Parking Authority once the amended ordinance is read for a second time and finalized by the city council in January.
In other news from Monday night's city council meeting:
The Covington City Council placed O’zone Bar and Grill under a six-month probationary period after learning it had been in violation of the city’s alcohol ordinances by opening only two days of the week.
Covington Police officers had reportedly visited the business, located on Old City Pond Road, several times and found the business was not open, according to Covington City Manager Steve Horton. The ordinance rules that a restaurant serving alcohol must serve at least one meal a day for five days of the week.
The owner explained to the council that the business had gone through a restructuring and transition period and had been operating on a diminished schedule during that time but would soon be back to a normal business schedule, said Horton.
The council decided to approve the license with a stipulation that the Covington Police Department would periodically check to see that the business was in compliance. great deal of anxiety and hardship, and I am ready to move on with my life.”