Covington commission: Academy of Heritage Trades up for awards, business incentives proposed

By Ryan Clark
NKyTribune reporter

“Do you want to share the news?” Mayor Joseph U. Meyer asked.

“Sure,” replied Kaitlin Bryan, the city’s Historic Preservation Manager. “We have had classes underway, full-time, since August of this past year. We’ve been having a lot of Covington residents attend these classes …”

But that wasn’t exactly what the Mayor was referring to. Bryan picked up on the vibe.

“Luckily we have the ARPA fund agreement in place, so those residents are getting full-ride scholarships,” she said.

Covington Academy of Heritage Trades is in the process of restoring the former Colonial Inn on Madison Avenue in Covington. (Photo provided)

Commissioners were happy to hear that.

Bryan was referring to the Covington Academy of Heritage Trades, which in August expanded its courses to include its first full curriculum of fall programs, with classes including topics like “historic masonry, interior carpentry, box gutters, plaster, historic painting, stained and decorative glass, historic window restoration and weatherization, and repairing old floors,” a city press release said.

The Academy is administered by the Enzweiler Trade Building Institute, a trade school founded by the Building Industry Association of Northern Kentucky, which has long offered apprenticeship-style training in skilled construction trades, and the city offers tuition scholarships to Covington residents to attend the school’s workshops. Apparently, the funding for those scholarships had come through.

But that wasn’t the only good news. The school has also won an award, and is up for another, Bryan said.

She announced that the Academy had won the Ida Lee Willis Memorial Award for Excellence in the Preservation of Cultural Resources in Kentucky. Bryan and Meyer will travel to Frankfort to accept the award on May 22.

Also, the Academy is nominated for an education award at Thursday’s Cincinnati Preservation Association Awards.

“So, fingers crossed that we get that award as well,” Bryan said.

This all came on the heels of the Commissioners — who were attending their regularly scheduled caucus meeting this week — hearing a request to approve a grant agreement with the Kentucky Heritage Council for $21,000 for instructor fees for the Covington Academy of Heritage Trades. The grant will be completely reimbursed by the state.

Commissioners were pleased with the updates, and the request was placed on the consent agenda for next week’s legislative meeting.

Other Grant Agreements

Commissioners heard proposals to accept grant proposals for:

• Kentucky Heritage Council, NAPC CAMP Training — $6,000
• Kentucky Heritage Council, Northern Kentucky Restoration Weekend Program — $9,000

Each were placed on next week’s consent agenda.

Audit Presentation request

Commissioners approved a presentation request for next week’s legislative meeting on the Fiscal Year 2023 Financial Audit by Barnes Dennig.

Incentives and Subsidies

Commissioners heard proposals for these incentives and subsidies:

• THIRTY9 Property, LLC, Façade Incentive — $6,000
• Scout Yonder, LLC, Rent Subsidy — $6,000
• Zels Pretzels, Rent Subsidy — $6,000
• Safewave Technology Corporation, Rent Subsidy — $6,000
• Beech Native, LLC, dba Live Forever Die Whenever, Rent Subsidy — $6,000
• Fessler Properties, LLC – Historic Electric Sign Incentive — $7,500

All were placed on next week’s consent agenda.

Short-term rentals

Next week, Commissioners will vote on a proposed ordinance change for short-term rentals, revising density limits and expanding appeals rights related to the grant of a license.

The city eliminated the conditional use and went to a limited use including neighborhoods, making it a combination of historic districts and neighborhoods with density limits.

Resignations and New Hires

Commissioners heard proposals for resignations and new hires for:

Resignation – Trevor Collins, Police Officer, Police Department
Resignation – Corey Zelensky, Police Officer, Police Department
Resignation – Wendy Ryan, Section 8 Inspector, Neighborhood Services Department
New Hire – John Sadosky, Assistant Economic Development Director, Economic Development Department
New Hires – 2 Finance Technicians, Finance Department
New Hire – David Lillich, Police Officer, Police Department
New Hire – John Mairose, Police Officer, Police Department

The proposals were placed on next week’s consent agenda.

Appointments and Reappointments

Commissioners heard proposals for appointments and reappointments for:

Reappointment – Steven Hill, Human Rights Commission
Reappointment – Michael Steinman, Human Rights Commission
Reappointment – Anthony Noll, Board of Examiners for Police & Firefighters
Appointment – Gabriella DeAngelis, Kenton County Planning Commission
Appointment – Alison Wendling, Urban Forestry Board

The proposals were placed on next week’s consent agenda.

Next Meeting

The next regularly scheduled Covington Commission meeting will be a legislative meeting held at 6 p.m., May 14, 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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