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City Updates Local News

City of Covington Construction Project Update from Mayor Mark Johnson

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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

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