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Covington pulls mixed-use development plan from gym, field renovation
Councilwoman asking why Housing Authority paid for renderings
Conyers St. gym 2
Proposed plans to revitalize Conyers Street Gym and Baker Field had included a building in the shape of a baseball field for apartments. (Special Photo | D. Tracy Ward)

Covington's city manager says a proposed residential and retail development will not be part of the project to renovate a historic gym and ball field.

Scott Andrews said Friday, Oct. 15, that "the decision has been made to not pursue" the proposed mixed-use development planned to accompany renovations to Conyers Street Gym and Baker Field.

He said city officials made the decision after hosting a recent Town Hall meeting and receiving community input. 

"We will continue to explore options to make the properties aesthetically pleasing, functional and something the community supports," he said. 

"As we progress, we will continue to seek feedback from the community and ensure everyone is aware of potential developments,” Andrews said.

Andrews said it was “clear" that Conyers Street Gym and Baker Field "hold a special place in the hearts of our community members."

"City Council, the mayor and city leadership appreciate the history of the gym and field which is why we are currently exploring options to bring them up to the standards they deserve," he said.. 

Andrews announced the the decision not to pursue construction of the project after City Councilwoman Susie Keck on Friday said she uncovered a "previously unknown scheme" involving the city and Covington Housing Authority (CHA).  

Keck said the Housing Authority funded the renderings for a Conyers Street gym renovation and the construction of an additional building for multi-family housing and retail on Baker Field, Keck said.

"Why and what was their plan?" Keck said. “There will be a reckoning.”

She said the mayor, city council and city manager were unaware of the Housing Authority's connection to the project.

The price tag for those renderings is said to be approximately $75,000, she said.

“This in no way reflects the transparency to which this council has committed itself in the handling of the public’s business,” Keck said.

An internal investigation will be done to find out who knew the Housing Authority paid for the renderings, Keck said.  

No one was at the Housing Authority's offices Friday afternoon to comment.