City Council has busy meeting
Several issues came up at Monday’s Covington City Council meeting, including new businesses, new programs and street closing and abandonments.
Bed and breakfast gets grant
Nicole Greer, who owns The Twelve Oaks Bed and Breakfast off Monticello Street in Covington, was offered a tourism development grant worth up $15,000 from the state to renovate two rooms on the third floor of her historic home-turned-business.
Greer will have to provide matching funds for the project, but came before the Covington council, which has to act as a conduit for the money on behalf of the business. The council approved the grant, pending legal approval.
In order to save the city from liability, Greer said she would pay for all the repairs and ask the city to reimburse her as opposed to her getting the money up front.
The Twelve Oaks was recently named one of the top 10 luxury inns in the world by bedandbreakfast.com, and Greer said an expanded business would bring extra hotel/motel sales tax to the city, as well as providing a boost for other downtown merchants and increasing sales tax revenue.
New downtown businesses
In the past quarter, two new businesses opened in Downtown Covington, including physical fitness center Square Fit, 1149A Washington St., and
furniture store Just Dream, 1192 Clark St.
Main Street Covington Chair Serra Phillips said Just Dream does refurbishing and interior design and said the fitness classes at Square Fit were a tough workout. Wine-tasting shop would need new law
The Cork Boutique, a specialty wine store, is planning to open on the square, but current city ordinances would not allow the business to have wine tastings, because food and drink establishments have to make a majority of their revenue from food.
The ordinance is to prevent bars from locating in the city, but Mayor Ronnie Johnston told the council he’d like to see ordinance language written that would allow the business to have wine tastings without having to sell food.
Covington has laws that ban drinking out of an open container outside in public, so any new ordinance would restrict drinking to a business’ premises.
Johnston said the owner of The Cork is a longtime resident who wants to invest in the area, and Johnston believes the business would be a perfect fit for the square. City manager returns to work
Covington City Manager Leigh Anne Knight returned to work this week and got right back into the swing of things, attending Monday’s council meeting.
She expressed her gratitude for the many prayers and calls wishing her a swift recovery following her recent heart attack during a vacation in Florida.
Knight also thanked Deputy City Manager Billy Bouchillon for filling in and said it takes a team effort to run the city. New police officers sworn in
Four new Covington police officers were sworn in Monday, bringing the department up to full staff after some recent retirements and departures.
Veteran officers Xavier Banks, Leigh Taylor, Alex Laudermilk and Chris Smith were sworn in. Smith is returning to Covington for a second tour of duty.
Police Chief Stacey Cotton said he tried to find experienced officers who could hit the ground running.