COVINGTON, Ga. – Monday night’s Covington City Council meeting resulted in the approval of a new millage rate, the introduction of a new platform by paramedics, the discussion of adjusting the cost of living for retirees and more.
The correction of fiscal year 2024’s millage rate from 5.764 mills to 5.756 mills was unanimously approved. Mayor Steve Horton said the tax commissioner informed the city’s finance director of the error, prompting the correction in order to reflect the rollback rate.
Also a part of the unfinished business portion of the meeting was the final reading of an ordinance for the City of Covington to alter certain provisions of title five to accommodate breweries and brew pubs. The council passed the ordinance amendment unanimously.
During the consent agenda, an ordinance of the City of Covington to alter certain provisions of title 16 was read for the first time. The council voted 5-1 on the matter, with councilmember Kenneth Morgan opposing.
Division Chief of Training for the Covington Fire Department Danny Garner introduced a new online tool – Community Connect – to the council. Community Connect is a free, safe and secure platform that allows citizens to input “potentially life-saving” information, such as a door or gate code, number of family members and/or pets in a household, home layout, etc. for the Covington Fire Department to be aware of in the event of an emergency.
“Help us help you – that’s exactly what this tool will help us do,” Garner said. “It’ll help our community, our business owners contact us and give us life safety information.”
The fire department plans to begin its marketing campaign for Community Connect this week across their social media platforms as well as directly speaking to people in the community about their resources.
The last item on the meeting’s agenda besides council and staff comment was the discussion of consideration of granting a cost of living adjustment (COLA) for city retirees.
Human Resources Director Paul Dailey presented data from May 2022, stating the recommendation by actuaries for a 2.5 percent COLA increase which would increase annual funding by approximately $90,000. Updated numbers will be available at the Retirement Review Committee’s next meeting in November.
Dailey asked the council to hold making a final decision until those numbers are in, to which several council members requested a special called meeting of the committee to address a COLA grant for city retirees.
The council voted unanimously to table the discussion of a cost of living adjustment for retirees to their second meeting in September on Monday, Sept. 18 after the special called meeting occurs.
Additionally, the council unanimously approved of the following:
- A sole bid from A & S Paving Inc. for “Stormwater Rehabilitation Project #2023-21”
- Adoption of the fire department community risk assessment/standard of cover document
- The termination of the tower site management agreement between ATC Managed Sites, LLC and the city
- Memorandum of understanding between the county and the city for provisions of a regional government enterprise agreement for GIS software with the Environmental Systems Research Institute, Inc.
- Request by the gas department to enter Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) agreement for PI at Dried Indian Creek Road Bridge
- Request by the water/sewer department to enter GDOT agreement for PI at Dried Indian Creek Road Bridge
- GDOT confirmation letter for acceptance of funding for the 2023-2024 airport improvement project asphalt rehabilitation for the southeast ramp
- Adoption of the GDOT procurement policy for the procurement, management and administration of engineering and design related consultant services
- Property and casualty coverage with Travelers Insurance
The Covington City Council’s next meeting is on Tuesday, Sept. 5 at 6:30 p.m.