Covington Weekly » February 2, 2021

Daily Archives: February 2, 2021

City Updates Local News

City of Covington Construction Project Update from Mayor Mark Johnson

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The following is from Covington Mayor Mark Johnson‘s most recent e-mail update. Sign up for updates at www.covla.com

The City has been quite active during the past 60 days regarding infrastructure improvements. Kudos to engineer Callie Baker for getting these engineering and construction contracts underway:

1) Repave Boston Street (LA Hwy 21) engineering design. Special thanks to Senator Patrick McMath and Representative Mark Wright for funding.
2) That said, the City currently has no money budgeted to repave any of our other downtown or Division of Spring streets. We will continue to focus on repairing, replacing and lining our aging and leaky sewer lines.
3) Updating water line on 14th Ave between Jefferson and Jahncke. Retired Fire Chief Richard Badon had lamented the lack of a hydrant in this area.
4) Waste Water Treatment Plant (WWTP) Chlorine system maintenance.
5) The screening apparatus at WWTP has been broken for a couple of years. This means every object flushed into our sewer system has been hand-raked out of our waste water input. Repairing this apparatus is a good thing.
6) State law requires engineers calculate the load bearing of all bridges every two years. Like most of America, our bridge system is aging out.
7) Crepe myrtles planted near the sidewalk have rooted into the culverts on Lockwood between Columbia St. and Florida St. This has had an adverse effect on drainage. While repairing the drainage culverts, we will take this opportunity to also repair the sewer lines.
8) Miscellaneous repairs (phase I) per 2016 engineering study for WWTP.
9) Replace aging generator at WWTP. Plant receives, treats and discharges about one million gallons of effluent into the Tchefuncte River daily.
10) Extending Philip Drive water line to provide water to Fire Station #2.
11) Safety striping of 15th Avenue from Hubie Gallager to River Forest and at westward bound turn at 15th Ave and S. Tyler St
12) Engineering design for replacement of Lurline Drive from Karen to Division Street.*
13) Sewer line breaks along Lurline Drive identified by smoke testing and cameras will be repaired prior to replacing street.
14) Engineering State required guard rails for 15th Ave / Rattle Snake Branch bridge.
15) Engineering design for replacement of Columbia Street / Mile Branch. No $$s are currently budgeted for actual construction (estimated at $1M).
16) All abilities access path along the riverside of Bogue Falaya Park is coming in under budget (grant provided dollars, thank you Mayor Cooper’s administration). Unused grant funds are being applied to extending the path behind the playground along Mackie Creek.

*As a rule, I do not offer timelines for completion. My life experience as a builder / developer tells me such estimates are seldom correct, create false expectations and disappointment.

Also, a shout-out to Chief Administrative Officer Erin Bivona, Director of Finance Stephen Sanders and Public Works Director Chris Davis. The procurement process is tedious, heavily regulated, counter to typical business methods and miserable. Their work and expertise are critical to us overcoming the waterfall of bureaucracy.

www.covla.com

Live Music Local Events

Four Unplugged Plays Mardi Gras Themed Free Concert at the Bogue Falaya Park

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UPDATE: The Chillin’ at the River concert has been postponed due to expected bad weather. See the update article here:

Next Thursday we will be Chillin’ at the River again, this time for a Mardi Gras themed concert. On February 11th at 5:15 pm, join the City of Covington at the Bogue Falaya Park for some free live music and socially distanced fun!

These concerts are put on to provide safe, family friendly entertainment with social distancing in mind. Enjoy the scenic sprawling landscape of our beautiful park while listening to local live music. Bring your picnic, your lawn chairs and your beads! Masks are required, sanitation and social distancing circles will be available.

Rollin’ on the 3 Rivers House Float Parade Happening NOW!

from the City of Covington Cultural Arts & Events FB page, click to see more!

The Covington Trailhead is all decked out for Mardi Gras! Check it out while you tour the Rollin’ on the 3 Rivers House Float Parade, going on now until Mardi Gras Day, February 16th, 2021.

Visit www.covla.com to sign up for Mayor Mark’s email updates!

from the City of Covington Cultural Arts & Events FB page, click to see more!
Farmers Market Recipes

Farmers Market Recipe: Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

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Seasonal recipes inspired by fresh ingredients found at the Covington Farmers’ Market, by Chelsea Cochrane

One of my all-time favorite winter recipes, stuffed cabbage can be made with meat or left as a vegetarian dish. Filling enough for a main meal or make them as a side – either way I promise there won’t be any leftovers!

Benefits of Eating Cabbage

Cabbage is an excellent source of nutrition, even cooked! According to WebMD, half a cup of cooked cabbage has about a third the vitamin C you need for the day. It also gives you doses of fiber, folate, potassium, magnesium, vitamins A and K, and more.

Pick up your fresh, seasonal veggies at the Covington Farmers’ Market! The market also has options for grassfed, pasture-raised meats. Try some marinara or tomato sauce from Charlene at Abundant Life Kitchen, who writes the Farmers Market’s weekly newsletter!

Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

Ingredients:

  • 1-2 Tbs cooking oil
  • Optional: 1 lb ground meat – pork, beef, lamb, or mix it up!
  • 1/4 cup diced baby carrots
  • 1/4 cup diced yellow pepper
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1/2 lb mushrooms of your choice
  • 2 Tbs chopped fresh winter savory
  • 1 Tbs chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 cup cooked basmati rice
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Pepper flakes – if desired
  • 2 cups tomato sauce or marinara
  • juice from 1/2 fresh squeezed lemon
  • 6 – 8 large outer leaves of cabbage

Cooking Instructions:

  1. If you are using meat, brown beforehand with a little salt and pepper. You can add some hot pepper flakes here is you want some spice. Once browned, set aside to cool and use this skillet to cook your veggies.
  2. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Saute the onions, carrots, garlic, peppers, mushrooms, herbs and spices in a little oil on medium heat. Once the veggies are tender you can add the meat back in if using. Add the cooked rice and salt and pepper to taste. Cover and let simmer on low for about 10 minutes for flavors to meld.
  3. For the cabbage, you will want to cut off the leaves from the base at the bottom and use 6 – 8 of the biggest, longest leaves. Remove the hard stem through the middle of the leaf by cutting along each side of it in a “v” shape. Lay leaves out flat and add a large spoonful of mix to the top, uncut part of the leaf. Arrange mix into a fat sausage shape, with enough room on the sides to fold the leaf in, then wrap, tucking the top of the leaf in.
  4. In a small bowl or large measuring cup, whisk the lemon juice in with the tomato sauce. Spread a thin layer in a deep baking dish with a lid. Place the rolls in this dish with the seams down, and cover with the rest of the tomato mix.
  5. Bake covered for 30 – 35 minutes, uncover and bake for another 10 minutes, until golden brown.
City Updates Local News

Update from Councilman Mark Verret – CPD Update, Sewer & Road Improvements

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This update is from Covington City Councilman Mark Verret, District E:

Largely due to the efforts at increasing police pay, I am pleased to report that we have six new recruits who have undergone training at the Police Academy and three newly hired, experienced officers with updated Field Training. It is unbelievable that we have been so severely understaffed for so long.  As can easily be seen on a daily basis, we need a fully staffed department as we seek increased compliance with speeding, running stop signs, etc., in addition to daily patrol duties of responding to calls.  We will have five officers on duty along with a fully staffed traffic division.  Thank you all for your support of our initiative in this regard.  Here are our new recruits “enjoying” training…

As we continue to move forward, I would also like to address the continuing deplorable condition of our city streets.  Unfortunately, many of our streets in downtown and especially in Old Covington are in pretty bad shape.  Most of this is caused by sewer point repairs. Unlike many other nearby municipalities, many of our potholes are the result of actually fixing the broken lines.  

The aging sewer lines of Covington have suffered for far too long with many leaks. On a sunny day, our waste water treatment plant receives and treats about 1,000,000 gallons of waste water and on a rainy day, we receive about 9,000,000 gallons of waste water. 

For the past few years, we have been focused on repairing these breaks in the line. In many cases, the “patches” you drive over are the result of an in-depth excavation and pipe repair. After the breaks are repaired, a synthetic lining is inserted into each of the old pipes, giving us an “almost new” pipe. There has been a directed effort at repairing these sewer lines across the city. But our streets are in desperate need of repair as well. As we move forward, I will continue to fight for increased budgeting for the actual street repairs. You may have heard and I am pleased to report that we were able to get funding to repair Boston Street.

In our December 8th City Council meeting, we passed a resolution giving Mayor Johnson the authority to execute a cooperative endeavor agreement with the Louisiana Department of Treasury and the State of Louisiana for a Line Item Appropriation in Act 45 of the 2020 Second Extraordinary Legislative Session for Roadway Improvements which secured a $500,000.00 grant to resurface Boston Street from Jefferson Avenue to Lee Lane.  

If you should encounter an unusually bad pothole, please notify our Public Works Department at (985) 898-4700.

The City of Covington Public Works Department is responsible for maintenance and improvements for the city’s entire infrastructure. This includes sewer plant operations, sewage collection system, water wells, lift stations, traffic signs, drainage and city streets.

The Public Works Department is committed to the following goals:

  • To provide prompt, courteous and professional customer service to the community
  • To improve the quality of life within the community
  • To strive for high standards in organizational productivity and efficiency
  • To keep all city infrastructure maintained at the highest level possible to provide effective and safe use

For after-hours sewer or water emergencies:
Call (985) 898-4700 (24 hours/7 days a week)

Non-Emergency Service Requests:
Phone Requests:  (985) 898-4700
Fax Requests:      (985) 898-4729
Email Requests:   publicworks@covla.com

If you are emailing the Dept. of Public Works about a utility (water pressure or sewer backup) issue or a street issue that cannot wait until the next business day, please call their office number at (985) 898-4700.  This number is answered 24/7 regardless if it is after normal business hours, weekends or holidays.

Although we encounter setbacks from time to time, together we’ll keep moving forward to advance our position with measured progress.

Mark W. Verret
Councilman, District E
mverret@covla.com

This Week at the Farmer's Market

This Week at the Farmers Market by Charlene LeJeune

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Covington Farmers’ Market weekly newsletter by Charlene LeJeune:

Another beautiful Tuesday, friends, and just in time ‘cause I was hoping’ for a Wednesday! Wednesday means lively music and great food! Bhakti Farms has a delightful new sandwich. It’s chock full of veggies —carrots, Sam’s Sprouts (cause they’re the best) avocado, veganaise, and Johnny’s secret sauce on Dave’s killer bread! Plus they also serve a hot chai masala made with chai tea, and homemade cashew/coconut milk. Divine! Or try one of their new salads like the chickpea salad —a fabulous blend of chickpeas, tomatoes, red onion, parsley, and seasonings.

from the Covington La Farmers Market FB page

Oooh! It’s chilly enough to enjoy Kandy’s fantastic pho. Her special broth is delicious all on its own, but when you add the herbs, noodles, mung beans, and chicken, it becomes a warming, soothing, dare I say healing (at least to the soul) meal. Spinach pies or chicken rolls? No matter, Abeer is making both and I’ll venture to say that dipping them into her hummus or tsatziki would only add to the flavor. Try one of Mignon’s “chics”, a different type of “coffee” made with mushrooms and roasted chicory roots. Delish! Welcome to Wednesday, Eddie! He will be bringing us wonderful veggies in season –  mustard, kale, lettuces, green onions, and more. And, of course, Wednesday wouldn’t be complete without Double K eggs and Jerry’s raw honey (he even has organic honey). Maybe he even has some satsumas left!

Mike Artel will delight us with his special brand of melodies this Saturday morning as our market gets into full swing. What a wonderful way to enliven your stroll around the market! Start off with a hot coffee from the pavilion. Then head on over to Meme’s for a mouth-watering veggie pancake. Then, off on your journey to secure the best, freshly picked veggies. After all, that’s why you come to the Covington Farmers’ Market, right?  You’ll find chard, sweet potatoes, arugula, mustard, daikon radish, turmeric, green onion, cauliflower, broccoli, kale, sprouts, tomatoes, and more at our produce stalls. By the way, Tomato Ann has used some of her tomatoes to prepare a lovely, non-dairy, tomato-basil soup that she will have each week. Yum!

But we are more than veggies and fresh eggs and artisan breads. You’ll find some lovely prepared foods as well. Tessier Gourmet is well known for her Eggplant Parmesan, Chicken Andouille Gumbo, Spinach Artichoke Dip, tamales, and much more. And where would you go for creamy delicious quiche on Saturday but to Norma Jean? Her seasonal soups are also a big favorite and you should not forget about the brownies! Huge and chocolatey! Bhakti Farms is another place to be for vegetarian deliciosity, from their famous black bean and beet burger to their newest ginger quinoa salad, you will be wowed!

from the Covington La Farmers Market FB page

Specialties are our specialty! Stacy has the most creative mix of  pickled veggies — Garlic & Thyme Mushrooms, Spicy Asparagus, Lemony Cauliflower. Fruits of all sorts can be found in the jelly jars at both Althee’s and Stacy’s tables. Cameron is well known for tempeh and black garlic. Recently, he has been delving into the realm of cultured butters. In addition to a traditional cultured butter, Cameron has also developed a black garlic version and Korean Gochujang (no way I’m trying to pronounce that but it rolls off his tongue with ease). Lucy is back and so are her fabulous shampoo bars and deodorants. With fragrances like Lavender Lemongrass and Rosemary Peppermint, Plumeria, Honeysuckle, you’ll never small better! When you think of skin care, your thoughts naturally turn to Serenity Lane where Gerard & Judy have developed a fabulous line of skin and hair products. You’ll also find specialty essential oil blends.

James is adding mushroom powder to his table which is great for boosting the flavor of cream sauces, scrambled eggs, and stir fry. Pralines? Yep, Rose makes the best. Cookies? Fabulously decorated sugar cookies from Mauricio and peanut butter or ginger cookies (not as flamboyantly decorated but just as tasty) and ginger or chocolate vegan divinity.  Deeevine!

Oh the delights of the Covington Farmers’ Market! Lots of delicious each week — citrus fruits, strawberries, raw honey, or chicken jerky for your precious 4 legged pals. Yep, you’ll find it all here; the catch is that you have to be here to get the full benefit. See ya!

Lots of love,
Charlene LeJeune
Abundant Life Kitchen

The Covington Farmers’ Market is open each Wednesday, rain or shine, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Covington Trailhead, 419 N. New Hampshire and every Saturday from 8a.m. to 12p.m. on the side lawn of the Covington Police Station, 609 N. Columbia St. Call (985) 892-1873 for information or visit www.covingtonfarmersmarket.org

Check out our Facebook page – facebook.com/thecovingtonlafarmersmarket
On Instagram — @covingtonlafarmersmarket