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Covington council to meet tonight
E-911 work session starts at 5 p.m.
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The Covington City Council has a packed agenda Monday night, including discussions about the city's 2011 SPLOST project requests, 2011 power costs, a previously proposed parking ordinance and whether to allow outdoor burning in the city.

Covington submitted an estimated $17 million in SPLOST projects, including $5 million for replacing water infrastructure, $3 million for a new city hall building and $2.6 to widen Industrial Boulevard. The council did not receive a list of the projects ahead of time and some members expressed opposition to the city hall request in particular.

City Manager Steve Horton said Friday that the county requested a city list before he had time to present it to the council. However, he said the council would be able to make changes up until Dec. 3.

In 2011, six power plants that supply energy to Covington are going to be shut down for lengthy periods of time so maintenance can be performed. This is expected to raise the cost of power that the city purchases by 9 percent, because less efficient backup plants will then be providing a larger percentage of power. For example, coal and natural gas plants generally cost more to operate than nuclear plants, Horton said. The council will discuss how to address this cost increase at its next meeting, including possible increase the power cost adjustment, or PCA, for customers.

For a few weeks the council discussed restricting which commercial vehicles could park in residential-zoned areas. However, the council reversed course last week and decided to allow nearly all vehicles to park in residential areas, so long as they are not on public roads.

The issue came up because Forest Drive resident Virginia Hoffman complained about neighbors who had parked construction equipment and a flat-bed car carrier on their driveways. She will once again address the council. Horton said Monday night would be a good time for residents with concerns about the parking ordinance to address the council.

Outdoor burning is allowed in the city, but because of safety concerns the Covington Fire Department has not issued any permits recently. The city will decide whether it wants to allow permits, and, if it does, Chief Don Floyd has some recommend changes for the current ordinance, Horton said.

Finally, the council will have a work session at 5 p.m. to discuss the E-911 system, and whether Covington wants to continue to fund the department's budget 50-50 with the county or would prefer to be charged only on a per-call basis. While the per-call charges are expected to be lower, Covington might have to give up some its jurisdiction over the department.

The regularly schedule council meeting will start at its normal 6:30 p.m. time. To see the full agenda visit Monday.