Covington’s Devou Park, Bike Patrol and Industry Leader to Thrive in 2013 and Beyond

COVINGTON – Tuesday evening’s city commission meeting saw a continuation of the city’s progressive streak, with unanimous commission approval for the following projects:

Devou Park

Commission approved the recommendation put forth by Devou Properties Inc and Devou Park Advisory Committee for allocation of $515,500 to fund the development of a new event center that promises to be a new revenue stream for the park, vehicular wayfinding, pedestrian signage and kiosks, Rotary Grove improvements, improvements to the Behringer Crawford Museum, and improvements to Gus Sheehan Playground as erosion control measures.

Since 2008, over $2.5 million has been donated to Devou Park from the operational proceeds of the Drees Pavilion for capital improvement projects. These funds have supported projects including the construction of the new restroom and concession stand at the Bandshell, new wayfinding signage and repairs to the historic Stone Shelterhouse amongst others.

Tier 1 Performance

After recently relocating from the Odd Fellows Building to RiverCenter last year, due to the expansion and growth of its business, Tier 1 Performance, a business solutions consultancy firm is now set to benefit from a 1.25% City employee tax rebate for all employees of Tier 1 Performance. The City will rebate the funds from all existing employees and through collaboration the City and County will rebate the funds from all new employees for a period of ten years.

Tier 1 Performance began as one of NKY ezone’s start-up companies over ten years ago with three employees; NKY ezone is an affiliate of the Kentucky Innovation Network that helps technology startups develop, grow and find equity. Today, Tier 1’s home is a creative and inspired urban space in Rivercenter with over 70 employees.

Mayor Sherry Carran says of the approval, “Tier 1 Performance has been an incredible success story the City loves to tell and we are so pleased they have decided to stay in Covington. Reaffirming the rebate is a relatively small token of our appreciation, especially knowing that it was as important to the Tier 1 leadership to stay in Covington as it was for the City. Having Tier 1 as an example of the renewed interest in Covington’s urban core presents a very positive image for us”.

Bike Patrol

The City’s Bike Patrol, currently comprised of eleven police officers and two supervisors trained to ride cyclocross bikes while on duty, secured a permanent home last night, with unanimous approval of an agreement between RAH Realty LLC and The City for transference of ownership of 409-415 Scott Street. Part of the agreement between the two parties ensures a 15-year lease for the Covington Police Department Bike Patrol in the highly visible downtown location on the first floor of the building. This is a huge win for the Bike Patrol unit, who has existed in temporary spaces throughout the city over the last 20 years.

According to Jim Donaldson, Assistant Bureau Commander in the Criminal Investigations Bureau and Bike Patrol Commander for the City, the two parties are still working on finalizing the plans and hope to achieve a final draft of the building layout soon. RAH Realty Inc owned by Allen Haehnle, the property developer who renovated the Ice House at 424-426 Scott Boulevard and the Rankin Building at 434 Scott Boulevard. These properties are home to PPS Group, one of Kentucky’s largest full service video production, post, graphic design, and special effects company; Ruwe Family Pharmacy; ARC Global Document Solutions; and Life Point Solutions.

Approval of the transfer of ownership of the 409-415 Scott Street property is a result of the City’s ongoing strategic commitment to make the most of the City’s assets. Owned by the City for several years, this vacant building will now be back on the tax rolls and facilitate new activity in the area.

Bike patrols provide effective means of visible police presence on the streets, but also serve as a stealthy option to the motorized vehicular approach, especially in dense urban areas. An additional benefit is community engagement, as officers on bikes are more easily approachable than those in cars.

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