Skip to main content

By Ryan Clark
NKyTribune journalist

The development of the IRS site is back.

After stopping and starting – and en route replaced the Covington City Manager – on Tuesday evening, the commissioners approved the hiring of JS Held, LLC, for project management services to “implement the master plan strategic for Covington’s central waterfront, ”read in city documents. .

They refer to the management of the 23-acre IRS site.

“This is a very important first step that we are taking in the redevelopment of the IRS site,” Mayor Joseph U. Meyer said at the regular legislative committee meeting.

The deal will result in brownfield redevelopment in the Covington Central Riverfront area, under the direction of the city manager and the director of economic development, the mayor said. The goal is to develop it into usable land that could support a mix of potential uses.

City Manager Ken Smith said he could provide weekly updates on the project to the Commission, if they so wish.

Over the summer, the commissioners chose to stop and completely rethink how they wanted to use the site.

The city bought the site in March for $ 20.5 million, and since then Covington has struggled to manage the project. They first entered into several demolition and design contracts when former general manager David Johnston recommended certain options; the Commission decided not to follow these recommendations.

In June, Johnston and the town went their separate ways. Perhaps it wasn’t a surprise, then, that the city decided to officially start over.

“No project is more important,” said Mayor Meyer at the time. “We only have a bite of an apple to get it right.”

The city received three responses to its call for tenders for management services. The payment of the contract, which runs from November 1 to October 31 of the following year, is illustrated in the agreement as follows:

First year of the contract: $ 371,217
Second year of contract: $ 367,545
Third year of contract: to be determined
Fourth year of contract: to be determined
Fifth year of contract: to be determined

Thus, the contract, which will run in six phases, begins with an initial period of one year, with the possibility of four one-year renewals. The potential term of the contract should not exceed five years or $ 738,762.

Under the contract, JS Held, LLC, “will act as owner trustee and oversee all aspects of real estate development on behalf of the city.”

The project will include scope development, tendering and coordination with the city; the demolition and remediation of the 23-acre brownfield site; and site engineering and construction of new public rights-of-way with utilities, the contract says.

A general description of the services required includes:

• Project development for all phases
• Management of the project and program development of all phases from the start
Upon completion
• Facilitate and manage all required services, activities and communications
necessary for the completion of the project on behalf of the city
• Selection of engineers, consultants and contractors
• Management of the negotiation and creation of contracts
• Supervision and coordination of engineering and design processes and
• Manage all engineering, design and inspection services related to the
redevelopment project

Director of neighborhood services, other employees

Commissioners approved the hiring of Deputy Warden of Neighborhood Services Brandon Holmes as Warden effective October 27, and Keith Bales as Deputy Warden of Ward Services, effective November 8.

The commissioners also approved the appointment of Gregory Paeth to the Covington Motor Vehicle Parking Authority for a four-year term, effective October 27, 2021 and expiring October 26, 2025.

Stormwater maintenance supervisor hired

The commissioners also approved the hiring of Todd Redman for the stormwater maintenance supervisor position, effective October 18.

The role is budgeted from the rainwater operating budget.

Map of the dog park presented

Ben Oldiges, Director of Parks and Recreation, presented the Commission with a plan for the construction of the city’s first dog park.

“This is a really exciting new initiative,” he said. “We’ve made pretty good progress on this project.

Oldiges said the idea had been floating around the city for about a decade, and when he was hired as manager in 2020, he made it one of his top priorities to make it happen.

The project would be hosted in Kenney Shields Park and paid for with CDBG funds and a $ 10,000 grant from the Northern Kentucky Association of Realtors.

Oldiges said they chose to target the location because of its lighting, safety, neighborhood setting, shade and water source.

“It’s a pretty solid foundation for a dog park,” he said, noting that the goal is to develop several in the city.

He said they hope to pave the way for winter 2021 or spring 2022.

Executive session

The commissioners ended Tuesday’s meeting by meeting in executive session to “discuss pending litigation,” the mayor said.

He also said that they would not meet again and that no further action would be taken.

Next meeting (there is no meeting next week because it is election day)

The next regular meeting of the Covington Commission will be a caucus meeting at 6:00 pm on November 9 at the City Building at 20 W. Pike St. in Covington. Meetings can be followed live on Fioptics channel 815, Spectrum channel 203, the Northern Kentucky Telecommunications Council (TBNK) website, TBNK @TBNKonline Facebook page, and TBNK Roku channels.