Coffee With Mayor Cooper Recap

Mayor Cooper Highlights 2017 City Events

Wednesday was a beautiful morning for Coffee With Mayor Cooper at the Covington Trailhead Museum. The room was packed, and Mayor Cooper discussed some of the upcoming events in 2017.
The Lions Club Parade, Covington’s family oriented day parade, is getting an upgrade.  Patrick McKnight, the Covington Lions Club Chairman, invites participants to the 58th Annual Mardi Gras Day Parade!  This year’s theme is “Playtime.”  The 2017 Covington Lions Club Honorary Grand Marshall is Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser, and you could be right there along with him.
After the parade, be sure to catch the merriment at the Covington Trailhead with an awards ceremony for the floats and antique cars.  Music, food and fun await at Carnival in Covington 2017, a family Fat Tuesday tradition.  To pick up an application, or for more information, contact Kirstie at the Department of Cultural Arts, phone number 985-892-1873.  The Krewe of Olympia parade  rolls on Saturday, February 18, 2017.
The Mayor mentioned a couple of March events, a St. Patrick’s Day Parade on March 11, presented by the Covington Celtic Club and ending near Jewel’s Cigar & Briar.  Also happening in March is the Youth Service Bureau annual fundraiser, Chef Soiree.  This event will again take place at the Covington Trailhead with some of the best restaurants on the Northshore participating.
April brings some of Downtown’s most popular events, with the return of Rockin’ the Rails (Line up will be posted as soon as it’s finalized by the City!), St. Tammany Art Association’s Spring For Art, and of course, A Taste of Covington, both taking place the second week/weekend of April!  The Covington Heritage Foundation Antiques Festival returns the third weekend of April also, and the OnStage at the Fuhrmann series continues through 2017.
Mayor Cooper turned the floor over to Covington Police Chief Tim Lentz with regard to the Police’s Department’s award from the Metropolitan Crime Commission.  The MCC awarded the Department the Excellence in Law Enforcement Award in recognition of Operation Angel, a drug abatement and crime prevention initiative.  The award was received January 24, 2017.  Chief Lentz noted that over 100 people have been helped by the program, and crime is down %14 overall for 2016.

Mayor Cooper Discusses Road Projects

Mayor Cooper’s informal meeting also included some important information about the much anticipated road work projects around Covington.  He related that the contractor working on the 15th Avenue Bridge at Mile Branch gave assurances that it would be completed at the end of this week(!), when the official notification is given from the City, Covington Weekly will update.
With regard to the Washout Project on 15th, Mayor Cooper stated that Open Bidding begins February 8, and Bids are selected by DOTD.  Cooper also noted that the culverts would be replaced to increase capacity, with the project focusing on DOTD upgrades as opposed to FEMA requirements.  The Mayor also informed the audience that Councilman Wright is hosting a meeting for River Forest Residents at Kehoe France on Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2017, with regard to that project and other street paving projects.
Mayor Cooper reported that the Highway 21 Bridge Project is on schedule, with State projections for a finish date at late Spring/ early Summer;  Cooper added that his projections were late summer, to the agreement and amusement of those in the audience skeptical of road work finish dates.

Public Feedback at Coffee With Cooper

Two separate issues discussed as questions from the audience included incidents of speeding in and near the Savannahs Subdivision, and sewerage infrastructure.
The speeding problem stems from the fact that the neighborhood is used as a cut-through when it should be local access only.  Mayor Cooper noted that the speed limit was dropped to 20 mph, stop signs were added, and patrols increased, but there are still speeders.
In other areas of the country, police departments have installed a speed check with a camera that will take a picture of the license plate and automatically send a ticket to the speeding vehicle.  While this method has been contested depending on the application, it seems both a reasonable and feasible solution to a continuing problem that has not been solved by traditional and previously mentioned measures.
The sewerage infrastructure issue is a common one in the city ever since the flooding of March 2016.  Other factors affecting sewerage and plumbing infrastructure include root intrusion, common in areas with many trees.

City of Covington Special Municipal Election

The City of Covington holds a special Municipal Election to fill the Council Seat formerly held by Lee Alexius, who passed away last year.  Mr. Alexius is remembered as a family man, dedicated council member and founding member of the Covington Heritage Foundation, among many other contributions to the community.  The qualifying candidates in the March 25th election are Trey Blackall, Jerry Coner and Patrick McMath.