The Housing Authority of Covington Board of Commissioners unanimously voted to allow the authority’s staff to purchase a building on Russell Street, which the authority plans to use as its maintenance facility in the future.
“The square footage and the dimensions of the building… are very close to everything we need,” said Executive Director Steve Arlinghaus.
The current maintenance facility for the authority is located at the City Heights apartment complex, which the authority is currently in the process of dispossessing.
According to the authority’s most recent report, 45 of the 366 apartments at City Heights are still occupied. The authority is currently partnering with Brighton Center in Newport to aid the remaining occupants in finding new housing. The authority hopes to find new housing for all occupants within the next six months or so.
The housing authority currently employs 16 maintenance workers.
Once City Heights closes, the authority will need a new location for its maintenance operations. It had previously identified a property on Donaldson Avenue, which authority staff estimated would cost about $5 million. This new property is estimated to cost about $2 million, facility retrofitting included.
“So at the end of the day, it’s a $3 million savings in our capital funds that we can apply there for other purposes,” Arlinghaus said.
Specifically, Arlinghaus said the $3 million in savings would likely go to facility improvements at the Latonia Terrace and Golden Tower complexes, both of which the authority manages. Some of the money could also go to potentially buying additional properties throughout the city for authority tenants, Arlinghaus added.
Moreover, the building on Russell Street is right next to the city public works building, which will make coordinating its maintenance and service efforts with the city easier.
“We do a lot of interactions with Covington Public Works,” Arlinghaus said. “They also make all the repairs on all our vehicles and such, as well. We get our salt from the Public Works Department from their salt dome.”
Next steps include building inspections and other compliance measures to ensure the maintenance facility will be up to standard with both local and federal regulations.
“This property is offering us a really, really good fit for what our needs are,” Arlinghaus concluded.
The next meeting of the Housing Authority of Covington’s Board of Commissioners will take place on Oct. 18 at 4:30 p.m. at the authority’s central office on Madison Avenue.