Park planned for Cov­ing­ton Mills area

The Covington News - - FRONT PAGE - ROB DEWIG rdewig@cov­news.com

Neigh­bors called it the “Kudzu House.” Aban­doned and with a mas­sive hole in the roof, the house at 6110 Sor­rell Street in the Cov­ing­ton Mills neigh­bor­hood north of U.S. 278 was over­grown, run down and dan­ger­ous.

Neigh­bors just wanted it gone. It is. The house was torn down months ago, with the city foot­ing the $22,000 bill for its de­mo­li­tion.

Mon­day night, the Cov­ing­ton City Coun­cil voted unan­i­mously to bid on the lot at the up­com­ing county tax sale, with the idea of build­ing a neigh­bor­hood park. Coun­cil mem­bers ap­proved spend­ing up to $25,000 on the lot.

“We’re look­ing to a put a park there, play­ground equip­ment, that kind of thing,” said coun­cil­man Chris Smith.

Yes, the city tele­graphed its fi­nan­cial punch by set­ting its max­i­mum bid at $25,000. Smith says that’s OK. If some­one wants to buy it for, say, $26,000, the city still ben­e­fits.

When the house was de­mol­ished, the city put a $22,000 lien on the prop­erty. That means who­ever buys it — even if it’s the city — the county, which col­lects prop­erty taxes, will send $22,000 to the city. In short, the best-case sce­nario is the city gets .44 acres of park land in a neigh­bor­hood that needs a park for $3,000 or so. Worst case, the city gets its $22,000 back.

“If some­body wants to buy it for $26,000, that’s fine. We’ll get our (money) back,” Smith said.

“It needs to be done. It’s just grown up in grass now,” Smith said. “It’s an eye­sore for the com­mu­nity, and they de­serve some­thing like a nice lit­tle park.”

Coun­cil­man Keith Dal­ton called the city’s move a “no-brainer.”

“You’ve got a lot of young peo­ple (in Cov­ing­ton Mills), and to get to any­where else they have to take a bi­cy­cle across U.S. 278,” he said. Build­ing park there can hope­fully keep some kids safely near home.

“It’s an area that can use” a park, Dal­ton said.

Rob Dewig/The Cov­ing­ton News

Kudzu still grows on the empty lot in Cov­ing­ton Mills where the “Kudzu House” once stood. City of­fi­cials hope to buy the lot and build a neigh­bor­hood park.

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