Written by Ryan Clark
Last December, the city used US Rescue Plan funds to create “groups” or categories in which the funding would best be used.
Now those buckets are filled.
The most recent is the ARPA-funded Mortgage Assistance Program plan, which requires $500,000 to be used to help potential homebuyers lower mortgage interest rates, pay down payment and close costs associated with purchasing owner-occupied homes or vacant homes in eligible census tracts, or QCTs.
ARPA money has always been set aside to help homebuyers—now, city employees think they’ve come up with a good way to help. If approved, ARPA Mortgage Assistance will be a grant of up to $15,000 to help families purchase a home, with a maximum expense of $350,000.
City officials said at this week’s Covington committee meeting that the program will run in a similar fashion to the HOME Down Payment Assistance and CDBG Home Repair Programs. The purpose is to increase the number of homeowners in QCTs, which are defined as the census tracts of a city where 51 percent of residents earn 65 percent or less of the median income for the area.
According to the city, qualifications include:
• EnterThere are no income restrictions for homeowners participating in the program.
Attributed to him: There are no credit score requirements for the program. Borrowers’ credit is reviewed by the lender for mortgage financing.
• Underwriting the loan: The program does not have specific loan underwriting requirements. The city will review the terms of the borrower’s mortgage financing to ensure that the loan is not inherently predatory. Mortgage interest rates and fees will be reviewed and compared to current industry standards.
Then interested online buyers apply here: https://portal.neighborlysoftware.com/COVINGTONKY/participant
Mayor Joseph U. Meyer wondered if $15,000 would be enough, given today’s high costs.
“We looked at that, I mean there is no magic number for that because it obviously depends on the purchase price,” said Jeremy Wallace, director of community development. “But most lenders, especially if you’re buying in those areas, should have a 3 or 5 percent product down payment, so if we base it on an average sales price of — whatever the case is — $100,000 to $350,000, you should Being able to buy a few pips at a lower price. A pip is 1 percent of the purchase price of the loan amount, so you can buy the price a few pips lower, bringing the price down perhaps at a full rate of interest. We will try to maximize lowering that price as possible, but if we can From cutting a few points and then moving the rest to down payment and closing costs, that should be enough to get to those price ranges.”
The proposal was placed on the approval agenda for the next meeting.
Heritage Trade Program
The commissioners were required to agree to a sub-recipient agreement with the Building Industry Association of Northern Kentucky to cover tuition and expenses, as well as building installation expenses, associated with 1515 Madison Ave. – which will be used as a labor lab for the Covington Academy of Heritage Commerce.
Previously, the city allocated $250,000 in ARPA funds to support the development of the new Covington Academy for Heritage Dealers. As a sub-beneficiary, the Northern Kentucky construction industry will deploy funds to stabilize the building and cover the cost of education and supplies for Covington residents who enroll in the Workforce Training Program.
The delegates placed this request on the approval agenda for the next meeting.
The commissioners heard a $69,500 request for a contract with Emersion Design LLC to provide a design for the Covington Gate at Clay Wade Bailey Bridge.
In 2019, the city’s Department of Economic Development hired Garner Economics to complete a strategic plan, and one of the recommendations was to improve the gates to the city, which will include new signage, landscaping and beautification initiatives.
The city then sought input from the community, in part to identify the most important gates. Two of the rest stood out – and the Clay Wade Bailey Bridge was one.
Emersion Design’s submission was selected as the winning bid. The design process will be completed within four months and 50 percent of the funding will come from the General Fund and the Economic Development Fund.
The delegates placed the request upon approval of the next meeting.
Editing the text of the kennels
The commissioners heard a proposal to amend the Neighborhood Development Act to add kennels as a conditional use of limited industrial areas.
The Limited Industrial District (LI) was developed from the Neighborhood Development Act for “low-to-medium impact warehousing, wholesale and manufacturing uses,” city documents say. This area covers many of Covington’s railroad neighborhoods. The recommended text modification will allow kennel uses that receive a Conditional Use Permit to operate within this area because they are suitable for large-scale buildings associated with this area. “
The delegates put the request on the approval agenda for the next meeting.
Port Authority Camera Scholarship
The Covington Police Department has been approved to receive a grant of $157,180 from the US Department of Homeland Security’s Port Security Grant Program. But that would require a city match ($52,393), which is a budgeted expense.
The money will be used to expand the Riverfront Commons camera program to the west, “from Madison Landing to east of the current Brent Spence Bridge,” according to the city’s plans. “This will add an additional 18 cameras along the hiking and biking trail at Riverfront Commons in Covington.”
The request has been placed on the approval agenda for the next meeting.
iPad Technology Pilot Program
The commissioners heard a motion to approve ARPA funds to be used in a contract with the Covington Independent School District to implement a pilot program with JE
City documents say Biggs families “provide and measure the impact of city-provided iPads and early literacy apps on participating children’s readiness for kindergarten.”
The program will use $73,334 for the Covington Independent Public School of Education’s Ready Covington “iPad Technology Demo” program for use for up to three consecutive school years. The project will monitor the impact of city-provided iPads and early literacy apps on two classes of 4-year-olds and their families at JE Biggs Preschool.
The school district will provide technical and educational support and the program will start as soon as technology arrives.
The delegates put the proposal on the approval agenda for the next meeting.
The commissioners heard the proposed promotion of:
• James Johnson, rainwater maintenance worker
The commissioners heard a motion to appoint:
• Joseph Maiman, Director of Law Enforcement
• Alison Schaeffer, Law Enforcement Inspector
• Hilary Williams, Entertainment Program Coordinator
The commissioners heard the proposed resignations of:
• Angela Amberger, Tax Auditor
• Devin Harris, Police Officer
The commissioners heard proposals to reset:
• Pamela Mullins, Commission on Human Rights
• Omar Gray, Law Enforcement Hearing Council
• Rebecca Weber, Architectural Review and Development Board
• Matthew Routing, Audit Committee
• Sherry Wechhold, Liquor Control Officer
• Kathleen Sam, Linden Grove Cemetery Board of Supervisors
No meeting next week
There will be no meeting next week because of Election Day.
The next regularly scheduled meeting of the Covington Committee will be the Legislative Meeting to be held at 6 p.m., November 15, at the City Building at 20 W Pike Street in Covington. Meetings can be followed live on Fioptics Channel 815, Spectrum 203, the TBNK Council of Northern Kentucky (TBNK) Communications website, TBNK’s Facebook page, TBNKonline, and TBNK Roku channels.