Friday, April 18, 2003

Covington downtown director resigns

By Cindy Schroeder
The Cincinnati Enquirer

COVINGTON - Northern Kentucky's largest city is looking for someone to oversee downtown revitalization.

Telly McGaha, Covington's downtown renaissance manager since Aug. 6, 2001, has accepted a new job with a nonprofit community development corporation in Baltimore. His last day in Covington was Thursday.

McGaha has administered the $550,000 state grant for renovation of the Odd Fellows Hall at Fifth Street and Scott Boulevard. He also wrote the guidelines for the city's renaissance facade program that's helped about a dozen Madison Avenue businesses make exterior improvements, and he's helped write federal grants for streetscape improvements.

Last week, he organized a "gallery hop'' that placed art in storefronts to promote businesses and the arts community.

"Telly is an incredibly hard worker,'' Covington City Commissioner Craig Bohman said, as city officials accepted McGaha's resignation this week. "

Economic Development Director Ella Frye said she hopes to see the position filled by mid-May, when Covington is scheduled to host an opening reception for a national Main Street conference, a program that is affiliated with Renaissance Kentucky. "We'll go through our normal process of advertising locally, and if there are some national publications that we need to advertise in, we will,'' Frye said. "The Frankfort Main Street office has helped get the word out. We're already received inquiries.''

Gov. Paul Patton created the Renaissance Kentucky program in 1997. Through financial assistance and technical support, the program has helped about 100 cities throughout Kentucky redevelop their downtowns to attract more retail, housing and entertainment opportunities. Participating communities can compete for grants to restore their downtowns as safe, efficient, functional urban cores.


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