On Tuesday night, Covington’s board of mayor and aldermen passed its 2021-22 budget and lowered taxes for residents.
The property tax rate dropped from $1.33 per $100 of value to $1.24.
The $11.9-million budget for the upcoming fiscal year includes new public safety personnel, raises and equipment.
“Included in this budget are three new firefighters, additional police cameras to further improve public safety, money to continue blight eradication, investment to further improve our utilities and utility service, a new sidearm mower, investment for playground and field improvements in parks and recreation, new public works equipment, and new firefighter turnout gear,” said mayor Justin Hanson. “Also implemented in this budget is the first of a five-year salary study employee compensation plan that makes certain our team members are paid according to industry standards.”
Police chief Larry Lindsey requested a $15,000 raise with this budget and after extensive discussion during a Finance & Administration meeting last month, the aldermen agreed to a five-percent raise for both Lindsey and fire chief Richard Griggs. Griggs declined the raise in pay.
Other department heads had a 2-3 percent raise in pay.
Due to COVID-19, last year the city kept its expected revenues low but year-to-date has seen an increase of $463,710. The budget surplus funded several parks and recreations upgrades.
The budget for the upcoming fiscal year was passed 5-1 with alderman John Edwards voting against it due to the lack of donations for non-profits.
The fiscal year begins on July 1.