Wednesday, June 27, 2001

Covington agrees on site for jail


Kenton County Fiscal Court has final approval

By E.K. Meister
Enquirer Contributor

        COVINGTON — City Commissioners voted unanimously Tuesday to propose Eighth and Washington streets as the site for the future Kenton County jail and government center.

        It is the same location purchased by the city in February through eminent domain for a 162-space parking lot, a move taken after a local businessman proposed a one-stop social service center.

        City officials decided at that point, however, that parking was a more critical need. Commissioner Alex Edmondson voted to begin the purchase proceedings in early February. At that meeting he also said he was concerned about the message that the concentration of social service agencies in the vicinity caused.

        At Tuesday's meeting, though, Mr. Edmondson said the Eighth and Washington site is ideal for the jail. “We need to reinvigorate this eyesore,” he said, because of its central location in the city.

        “This will revive business. If we build it there, we'll need more shops and restaurants,” Mayor Butch Callery said.

        The Eighth and Washington site had been considered by Kenton County for the jail early in its selection process, but was not put forward as a recommended site.

        Kenton County Fiscal Court ultimately will decide where to build the jail. It is considering a site recommended in the Peaselburg neighborhood or an expansion of the Court Street spot where the current jail stands.

        “That Kenton County says only two sites are feasible is ludicrous,” Mr. Callery said. “They said they want a site that is jointly agreed upon by the county and the city.”

        Commissioner Craig Bohman said his main concerns with the Eighth and Washington site are how to take care of existing businesses and how to best muster public opinion.

        A proposed jail/government center would consist of a jail, a parking lot and office space for state, county, and county school board personnel.

       



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