Covington commission finds lawyer to help with property reinvestment program; considers Wolf Road

By Ryan Clark
NKyTribune reporter

The City of Covington has been seeking an attorney and/or law firm to provide legal services for enforcement of tax liens in Kenton Circuit Court by bringing suits against a number of parcels of real estate in one action, as authorized by a state law known as the “Mass Foreclosure Act.”

As of Tuesday night’s regularly scheduled caucus meeting, they may have found their lawyer.

Commissioners heard a proposal Tuesday night to hire the Law Office of Jerry N. Higgins, PLLC, to provide legal services for the Neighborhood Services Property Reinvestment Program, or ARPA Project 19.0.

After Neighborhood Services and the Legal Department issued an RFP seeking an attorney or law firm to provide legal services needed for acquisition of properties for the program, only one proposal was received.

The selection committee reviewed and believes the Law Office of Jerry N. Higgins is “qualified to provide the services needed and has proposed to do so at a fair price, below what is presumed reasonable for similar services under Kentucky law,” city documents say. “The firm has significant experience and established processes in place to provide the services needed with speed and efficiency. As such, the selection committee recommends award of the contract to the Law Office of Jerry N. Higgins.”

The services, according to the city, would cost “up to $500,000,” and would be finished by the end of 2026.

“The city has not done any foreclosure work in quite some time, and we have a backlog of properties,” said Brandon Holmes, the city’s Neighborhood Services Director.

Mayor Joseph U. Meyer wondered why there were no area lawyers who wanted the job, pointing out that Higgins is from Southern Indiana.

Holmes responded that Higgins is, essentially, the expert when it comes to this type of litigation.

“There’s a number of parcels in some of our areas and there’s a challenge that with the economics of the current conditions in the market, no one will come in and overpay for them,” Holmes said. “But (Higgins) does a lot of what is called ‘mass foreclosures’ — it’s a particular kind of thing that not very many attorneys do.”

The proposal will be placed on next week’s consent agenda.

Wolf Road Agreement

Commissioners heard a proposal to enter into an agreement with the state, county and city of Taylor Mill, where the cities will share minor maintenance (potholes, snow, signage, weeds, litter, etc.)

For instance, specifically for snow, Covington provides the salt and materials, while Taylor Mill actually provides the trucks and does the plowing.

The proposal was placed on next week’s regular agenda.

Full-time IT Position

Commissioners heard the proposed change of utilizing ARPA funds to hire a second part-time IT specialist, to instead promote Brittany Honacker, who previously held a part-time position, to full-time.

Honacker started her job at the city back in March and has won over staff with her knowledge and skill, officials said. It was specifically noted how she has been helpful with Covington Connect (the city’s program to expand access to free public Wi-Fi throughout the city).

The proposal was placed on the consent agenda for next week’s meeting.


Commissioners heard the proposed hirings of:

• Staff Accountant Craig Farley
• Assistant Neighborhood Services Director Walt Mace

All were placed on the consent agenda for next week’s legislative meeting.


Commissioners heard the proposed promotions of:

• Eric Bowling to Staff Accountant
• Police Department Capt. Marcus Jordan to Lt. Col. (Assistant Chief)
• Police Department Lt. Robert Rose to Captain
• Police Department Sgt. Justin Bradbury to Lieutenant
• Police Department Lt. and Specialist Aaron Ashley to Sergeant

All were placed on the consent agenda for next week’s legislative meeting.


Commissioners heard the proposed resignations of:

• Staff Accountant Gary Johnson
• Clerk Typist Candice McAllister
• Police recruit Trent Webster
• Police Officer Corey Warner
• Stormwater Maintenance Specialist Daniel Peters
• Neighborhood Services Program Coordinator Tyler Wilson

All were placed on the consent agenda for next week’s legislative meeting.

Two vehicles

Commissioners heard an order requesting approval for the purchase of two 2023 Ford Escapes for the replacement of two Devou Park Ranger vehicles, at a cost of $29,295 apiece, or a total of $58,590.

Commissioners placed the request on next week’s consent agenda.

Pink shield

Police Chief Brian Valenti was wearing a different badge Tuesday night.

It was pink.

“Every year the Police Department partakes in Breast Cancer Awareness Month,” Valenti said. “Some of the ideas that have been thrown at me this evening — like wearing a full pink uniform — we decided that we would wear pink shields. This was something that was started last year by Chief Nader and we’re continuing it this year … we will be wearing these throughout the month of October.”

Next Meeting

The next regularly scheduled Covington Commission meeting will be a legislative meeting held at 6 p.m., Oct. 11, at the City Building at 20 W. Pike St. in Covington. The meetings can be followed live on Fioptics channel 815, Spectrum channel 203, the  Telecommunications Board of Northern Kentucky (TBNK) website, the TBNK Facebook page @TBNKonline, and the TBNK Roku channels.

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