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Johnston breaks tie against expanding stage
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Covington Mayor Ronnie Johnston was the deciding vote not to expand the stage on the Square Monday night.

The city council heard two bids for the expansion of the concrete pad located on the corner of the Washington and Church streets, one from DAF for $6,350 and one from Jim Williams for $16,800.

After the bids were announced Councilwoman Hawnethia Williams expressed her thoughts that the stage did not need to be expanded, saying she felt the stage is sufficient for the 12 or 13 events that use it every year.

Councilman Chris Smith, then proposed a motion to approve the bid from DAF, before comments continued. Councilman Keith Dalton seconded the motion before comments resumed.

“From the very beginning (of the revamping of the Square park) I thought it was a good design because the person who designed it, designed it for that particular space,” Councilwoman Janet Goodman said. “I think it’s fine the way it is. Big events are not going to happen there anyway.”

Williams brought up the recent proposals for a stage and band shell at Legion Field that would be able to accommodate bigger bands and larger concerts.

However, Dalton, who was on the committee that looked at stage proposals for the Square months ago, rebutted by saying the stage dimensions on the table Monday, forming a larger, rectangular unit, was the one originally proposed.

“We came up with what we’re trying to do now,” Dalton said. “How we got the octagonal stage we have now, I have no idea.”

Councilwoman Ocie Franklin expressed desire to retain green space in not expanding the stage, and Councilman Mike Whatley spoke of his experience as a musician playing on the stage.

“The conformation of what we have up there now does not work; buying another tent does not work; making the space the correct size will make it work,” Whatley said.

After each councilperson made a comment for or against the proposed revamping of the stage, the six members voted.

Dalton, Smith and Whatley voted for accepting DAF’s bid and Councilwoman Janet Goodman, Franklin and Williams voted against.

Johnston then voted to break the tie against accepting the bid.