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Posted: January 24, 2013 10:45 p.m.

Former mayor to donate fountain to city

A former mayor of Covington continued the spirit of giving by donating an outdoor fountain to the city, but there is not a set plan as to where it will go at the moment.

Sam Ramsey requested for the council to accept his donation of a fountain and approval to place it in a tree well in front of his store, Ramsey’ Furniture. Ramsey presented the council with a picture of the fountain, which he said has been in a pool at his home for about 25 years.

"I want to give it to the city. Not only do I want to give the fountain to the city, I want to pay for the installation of the fountain right in front of my store; right there in the tree well, I’d like to put a fountain there," Ramsey said. "I will pay all expenses, but you all will have to approve it because once I do this, it’s yours."

"I would appreciate your consideration on accepting this gift from me for the city. I think it will be a gorgeous addition," he said. "I think it will be a real great addition to Main Street."

Mayor Ronnie Johnston had concerns about placing the fountain in the tree well, as did other council members.

"I want to thank you for your nice gesture and offer and everything, but I have one problem," Johnston said. "There is a plan right now for the entire square with the tree wells. We spent close to over $100,000 in redoing the tree wells, planting new trees, and it’s more than just trees and tree wells — it is trying to have some uniformity look to the entire square.

"One of the things that concerns me about this, is that if we allow this one to go, then somebody else may say, ‘I want to put a sandbox in my tree well,’" Johnston said.

"I would love to accept your donation with the fact that we will use your fountain somewhere, because I think that we can use it; but, I don’t agree with going away from the tree wells because they are there for the trees," Johnston said.

Councilwoman Janet Goodman also brought up the idea of consistency.

"We’ve worked so hard to get consistency downtown, that’s why we prefer you to put it somewhere else," she said.

Council member Chris Smith asked Ramsey if he would be willing to donate the fountain to the city use elsewhere in the city. Ramsey agreed, but said he would not agree to install it in another location. Smith made a motion to accept the fountain and for Ramsey to work with Randy Vinson with Planning and Zoning to determine another location in the city for the fountain.

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