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Main Street will not get more money
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After nearly a month of back and forth, the city council formally voted, unanimously, Thursday night to not raise Main Street Director Josephine Kelly’s salary nor add part-time help.

At a special called meeting, City Manager Steve Horton informed the council that the Main Street Covington Board of Directors had never officially voted to approve a raise, nor an extra position, and that the county was not going to be able to fund its 50 percent share of either.

Horton said that the city can consider funding the entire raise itself at a later time, but in his opinion it would not be fair for the city to assume the full cost at this time.

The city council also voted to have a work session with the county and the Main Street board in order to create an intergovernmental agreement to clarify how the three entities will work together.

Horton said there is some confusion about who Kelly reports to and what the city and county and Main Street board are responsible for. He said there is a set of bylaws but it doesn’t specify many aspects.

The council previously had come to a consensus to increase the Main Street department’s budget to $101,443, up from $82,910. Kelly would have received an additional $3,050, while a part-time employee would have been hired at $15,000.

The raise discussion started because of an April 19 letter from Main Street Chair Billie Jean Whatley.

"The office has had to assume an increasing scope of work beyond what is conventionally considered downtown development and falls more within classification of community services," Whatley said.

Whatley suggested the formation of the Office of Community Services and Downtown Development and said the department has been working closely with the Covington Redevelopment Authority, the city’s housing initiatives and the Covington-Newton County Chamber of Commerce. In addition to the square, Whatley suggested that the Pace and Elm streets corridors be added to Main Street’s jurisdiction.

At this time, Main Street will not undergo any official changes.