10/6/2017 12:56:00 PM Jackson Street Residents Discuss
Important Neighborhood Concerns
Covington Public Works and Parks and Recreation Director Allen Dressler speaks during a Jackson Street neighborhood meeting Thursday evening at South Covington United Methodist Church. Seated is Covington City Manager Richard Douglas, left, and Stevie Steele, the city’s contracted engineer. (D.S. Crosier Photo)
Residents in the Jackson Street area of the city of Covington have taken a significant interest in the future of their neighborhood.
Meeting Thursday evening at South Covington United Methodist Church, around 65 neighborhood residents turned out for a public gathering to discuss issues they feel are most needed in their area.
While stormwater drain-age and sewer line issues were the predominant complaints received Thursday, other issues included water line replacement, sidewalks, paving and improved lighting.
Another issue raised during the meeting was the speed of vehicles traveling down Jackson Street, especially excessive speeds taken by tractor-trailers driving through the area en route to the Rail Over River Industrial Park, located at the former AET plant.
The meeting was held as part of a $40,000 grant the city has received from the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Through Community Development Block Grants, such as those the city hopes to tap into soon, funds are made available to improve such things as public infrastructure, housing and economic development.
If approved in later grant cycles, the city could receive upwards of $1 million in each cycle to implement improvements in the Jackson Street area.
“This project will result in a revitalization of the neighborhood,” said Stevie Steele, the city’s contracted engineer.
Of the $40,000 grant, $4,500 was set aside for the initial stage of the process, which included the issuing of surveys and conducting Thursday’s meeting.
Recently, Steele hand-delivered over 250 surveys to individual homes in the neighborhood.
“These surveys help us access as much money available to us as possible and it’s important that we get as many of these back as possible,” Steele said.
“What we have to do now is look at every issue in the Jackson Street area,” Steele said. “We have to look at everything and come up with data that we can then take to city council and say, ‘These are the issues. This is what we found. This is what it’s going to cost to fix these issues’.”
Jackson Street resident Brian Hiner asked Steele if the city will move forward with plans to improve the neighborhood if grant money is not available.
“If the city doesn’t get this grant, will you all just drop us like you have in the past?” Hiner asked.
Hiner asked Vice Mayor David Crosier, who represents the Jackson Street area, for his comments.
“I can tell you this,” Crosier said, “We’re in the best position now to get some things done in this area. Even if I have to run again for another term on council, we’re going to make sure things get taken care of. If we don’t get grant funds, it may take us 10 years instead of five, but we have the people in place now to see some real progress.”
“We can’t do anything to fix what happened or didn’t happen 50 years ago,” Steele said. “All we can do is be positive and look toward to the future and work toward improving the things that need to be fixed.”
Several times during the gathering, Steele stressed the importance of residents in that area returning the surveys that were left at their homes.
If you live in the Jackson Street area and did not get a survey or need another copy, contact City Manager Richard Douglas at 965-6300 to have one sent to you.
“It’s essential to get our residents to fill out these surveys and get them turned in,” added resident Rick Smith.
Crosier, Smith, Sandra Kemper and Paul Graham volunteered to serve on a committee to work with the city and their neighbors in the Jackson Street area as the process continues.