COVINGTON — Covington Council voted to oppose provisions in Gov. John Kasich’s proposed 2018-19 budget during their meeting Monday evening.
The council heard the second reading of and approved a resolution voicing their opposition to a provision within the governor’s state budget proposal that would require businesses to file municipal income tax with the state. The state would then redistribute the funds with a 1 percent administration fee. The council waived the third reading on this resolution.
The proposal in Kasish’s budget would mandate businesses to file their net profit return through the Ohio Business Gateway. The Ohio Business Gateway is controlled by the Ohio Department of Taxation, and the funds would be filed without auditing services.
The village is concerned that this could lead to additional loss of revenue and slowing the delivery of services to residents.
Also during the meeting, the council tentatively awarded the first phase of the Covington Wastewater Treatment Plant improvement project to Jutte Excavating from Fort Recovery pending an approval of an Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) loan application. Jutte Excavating was the low bid for the project with a quote of $1,108,892 for the project. The village plans to fund the project through an Ohio Public Works Commission (OPWC) grant for $375,000; a zero-percent interest OPWC loan of $375,000; and a low-interest loan of $500,000 that is currently pending approval.
The council also accepted a bid from J&J Stampworks for the 2017 sidewalk improvement project at a cost of approximately $19,309. Village Administrator Mike Busse noted that the owner of J&J Stampworks is the son-in-law of the village’s fiscal officer Brenda Carroll, who had no involvement in the bid process for this project, Busse noted.
The council also approved an agreement with CMI Software to provide an online payment processing service for utility payments. Busse proposed that customers be charged the fee for credit and debit card transactions and the village absorb the fee for ACH transactions. There will be a $2.95 credit card fee for utility payments, a $1.95 debit card fee for utility payments, and a charge of 2.8 percent of the payment amount with a minimum service fee of $1 per payment transaction when credit or debit cards are used for tax payments.
The council also approved advertising for bids for the 2017 street resurfacing program.
“This will be for Chestnut Street from Debra to Wenrick, Debra from Broadway to Chestnut, and Ullery from Broadway to Chestnut,” Busse said. “The engineer’s estimate is $129,710. We have budgeted $100,000 for this project this year.” Busse said that the village will receive bids and then re-examine the project if need be.
Lastly, the council approved an agreement with the Miami County Commissioners for Emergency Management Services.
The council approved waiving the third reading rule on all legislation during their meeting.
The council also set the village-wide garage sale to take place on June 1-3. Large trash pickup will take place on June 5-7 where there will be no extra fees for large trash items.
The village is also expected to get nine mosquito spray treatments this summer to take place on June 2, 16, and 30; July 7, 21, and 28; Aug. 11 and 25; and Sept. 1. These treatments are weather-permitting. This is up from the six treatments the village received last year.
Busse also updated the council on the electric and natural gas aggregation programs. Dynergy Corporation was the winning bid for the electric aggregation program, and Constellation Energy Services was the winning bid for the natural gas aggregation program.
Busse said that letters were sent out to residents about participating in the electric aggregation program. If they wish to participate, residents who received the letter do not need to do anything as they will be automatically enrolled. If they wish to opt-out, there was an opt-out card included with the letter. If residents did not receive a letter and want to participate in the program, they should contact their current electric provider to see if there is an opt-out fee from that program and then contact Dynergy.
The village is currently waiting on more information for the natural gas aggregation program.
More information, including how to contact Dynergy, is available on the village’s website at covington-oh.gov.
Reach Sam Wildow at [email protected] or (937) 451-3336