Spe­cial events pub­lic drink­ing or­di­nance fails

The Covington News - - Front page -

By Sabas­tian Wee Af­ter all of these costs, there’s sim­ply no profit in it for the busi­nesses… If I was run­ning a busi­ness and saw the num­ber of per­mits and reg­u­la­tions and cost of set up, I would not want to do it ei­ther,” she said.

The coun­cil agreed to file the or­di­nance for the time be­ing.

• The coun­cil also dis­cussed its 2010 amended bud­get. City Man­ager Bob Thom­son pro­posed a rate in­crease of wa­ter, sewer and san­i­ta­tion for the cur­rent fis­cal year. The rate in­creases, along with the mill­age rate in­crease, are ex­pected to help al­le­vi­ate the es­ti­mated bud­get deficit of $103,617.22.

The pro­posed in­creases, based on an av­er­age min­i­mum use of 3,000 gal­lons a month, would be wa­ter — 19.80, up from $17.25; and sewer — 21.81, up from $18.99.

The coun­cil also con­tin­ued to dis­cuss rais­ing the mill­age rate to 17.518, up from the cur­rent 9.156, to cover the short­fall re­sult­ing from a larger than ex­pected 32.27 per­cent drop in the tax di­gest.

The city is also look­ing into dif­fer­ent so­lu­tions to re­duce the num­ber of penal­ties the city has ac­crued due to late and un­paid pay­ments from res­i­dents.

“They keep up­ping the ante and we’re left with no choice but to do the same,” Fin­ger said, ex­press­ing con­cern with all of the rate hikes the city was fac­ing.

The coun­cil will hold three pub­lic hear­ings about the mill­age rate and ap­prove the re­vised rate at their July 12 meet­ing.

• The coun­cil fol­lowed up with code en­force­ment of­fi­cers to dis­cuss their ef­forts to im­prove run­down res­i­dences in the city. So far, land­lords are com­ply­ing with the code 90 per­cent of the time, though there are some that have not ad­hered to the warn­ings is­sued.

Cur­rently the city or­di­nance re­stricts code en­force­ment of­fi­cers to is­sue warn­ings to res­i­dents with un­kempt yards. Each vi­o­la­tion is con­sid­ered a sep­a­rate in­ci­dent, there­fore pre­vent­ing any ac­tual ci­ta­tions from be­ing is­sued. The coun­cil is con­sid­er­ing con­sol­i­dat­ing vi­o­la­tions to al­low for ci­ta­tions, which could re­sult in fines.

• This year’s July Fourth cel­e­bra­tion is ex­pected to in­clude $12,000 worth of fire­works, thanks to the fundrais­ing ef­forts of one of the town’s events com­mit­tee. Last year, Newton County de­cided it could not fund its 50 per­cent share of the an­nual fire­works show on July Fourth and the city of Cov­ing­ton, who in the past has split the cost with the county, voted not to fund the en­tire show it­self. Por­terdale filled in and raised more than $9,000, and will have a larger dis­play this year.

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