COVINGTON — During their meeting Monday evening, Covington Council heard a presentation on the new village website that will be rolling out within the next two weeks.
“We are confident we’ve got a really, really good product,” Mayor Ed McCord said.
Village Administrator Mike Busse praised the work of Covington photographer Ben Robinson, who created the website along with Busse under the direction of a committee created to discuss the new website.
“He’s done some really cool things with it,” Busse said.
The updated website features a scrolling image on the first screen along with a toolbar across the top and other options below the main images. There is a link called “Unlock the town,” which takes users to a site map. The new website also features links for all of the departments, each containing images, general information, and contact information. There is also a calendar of events, resources, and a village map.
In addition, there is a business directory in which area businesses are categorized into markets. Once the website is officially live, other businesses in the area can submit to have their business added to the website if they are not already listed.
Another unique feature of the new website is the village’s history, from its beginning up to the 1950s. There are also photos from the village’s past, most of which were provided by Covington resident Jim O’Donnell.
“We tried to make it personable,” Robinson said about the new website overall. “We tried to make the info as … accessible as quickly as possible.”
Robinson added that once the website is up, the majority of the maintenance needed will be updating news-related items or uploading new documents for download.
“I really don’t think there’s going to be a lot of time added for maintenance,” Robinson said.
“I think we’re less than two weeks from going live with this,” Busse said.
“You did a fantastic job,” McCord said, adding that this website has “the wow factor.”
“Much more modern than what we currently have,” Busse said. Busse and Robinson added that they are expecting the new website to generate a lot of traffic.
Also during the meeting, the council approved a resolution of necessity to replace various curbs on Steven Street. The curb replacement is needed in order for the village to eventually resurface the street. Some of the curbs in need of repair have dipped down. There is no way to overlay them and resurface the street with the curbs in that condition, according to Busse.
The village will be replacing the curbs on the 300 block of Steven Street and then assessing the individual residents at those addresses. The village has estimated that there are approximately 137 feet of curb in need of replacing with a total cost of $4,041.50.
The contract for the curb replacement project was awarded to M&T Construction. The cost breaks down to $4.50 removal plus $25 replacement. Those residents who will be billed will also have the option of paying for the curb replacement up front or paying for it over four years on their property taxes like the payment options offered in the sidewalk program.
The council also approved the purchase of a new village office phone system from Ohio Valley Integration Services, Inc. of Sidney.
“The new phone system just has a lot more capability,” Busse said. The municipal building will be connected with the water, street, and sewer departments. “The phone system will be completely connected.”
Village employees will also get their own phone lines and voicemail inboxes. The village’s current phone system has issues with voicemail messages becoming scrambled or inaudible if individuals are able to leave voicemail messages at all. Those issues will be fixed and village employees will also be able to transfer calls.
The cost is approximately $9,631 and includes the equipment and installation of the phone system.
The council also approved paying the final invoice from Briggs Creative Services for the Safe Routes to School project. The invoice was for approximately $15,151.
“The right-of-way acquisitions are complete,” Busse said. “We hope to begin construction late summer and complete the project by fall 2017.”
The village will also be replacing three fire hydrants as part of the project, including one on Ludlow Street and two on Chestnut Street.
Busse also reminded the council and residents that the village has sent out an anonymous income survey. The village is requesting that those who received the income survey fill it out and return it to Access Engineering in the postage-paid, self-addressed envelope that was included, Busse said. The completed income survey will help the village qualify for grant programs.
“Village officials only see the compiled data,” Busse said, explaining that no one in the village government will see the individual surveys.
Also covered during council’s meeting:
• The Covington Chamber of Commerce-sponsored Culpepper & Merriweather Circus will take place on May 16, so the council meeting for that evening was rescheduled to Tuesday, May 17, at 7 p.m.
• A public hearing for a zoning map amendment for Mullen’s Firestone is scheduled for June 6, at 7 p.m. at the municipal building, located at 1 S. High St. in Covington.
• The council approved the hiring of Madisyn Jernigan-Cook as a part-time park maintenance employee.
• The renovation project for the water tower located at Maple and Ludlow is currently on schedule for the last week of June.
Reach reporter Sam Wildow at (937) 451-3336 or on Twitter @TheDailyCall