Local residents and business owners are voicing concerns to the Covington City Council over the filming of "The Vampire Diaries," saying the crew has taken over the streets and is displaying rude behavior.
The hit TV show, which airs on The CW network, is currently shooting its second season in parts of the city.
"I've had complaints where they've rolled in and blocked off parking spaces and took over," said Councilman Keith Dalton, suggesting that filming should take place after business hours and on Sundays.
Other complaints include an incident where a resident was reprimanded by a crew member or security for crossing the square during filming.
Mayor Kim Carter noted that there wasn't a single complaint from merchants during the last downtown business council. She said permits were granted for the crew to block certain parking areas and business owners were notified as soon as it was. Merchants are compensated for occupied parking spaces, like the ones in front of Mystic Grill. One particular merchant was happy with the compensation, Carter said.
The city requires the crew to notify those affected in-person or a through a letter, City Manager Steve Horton added. At least three phone numbers are provided to residents and merchants in case of a problem or emergency. Horton later indicated a meeting will be held later in the week to address merchants' concerns.
"When those people are downtown ... they bring a lot of activity to the area," said Horton candidly. "You'll see cars from all over creation ... I don't know if that makes anybody any money or not."
"We've got to take care of the people who brought us to the table, and that's our merchants and people that are buying our business licenses and are here everyday trying to make a living," said Councilman Chris Smith. "I don't want to forget about those people."