Residents to soon return to apartments at Golden Tower after sewer repairs

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The third of four sewer system repairs at Golden Tower, a public housing high-rise apartment complex in Covington, has been completed, said Steve Arlinghaus, the executive director of the Housing Authority of Covington, at a public meeting of the city’s housing board on Wednesday.

“We expect to have the residents back into their units by the 20th of this month, which is just around the corner,” said Arlinghaus during his report at the meeting. “We expect to have the final stack line underway by the 28th of March, so the progress is going along quite smoothly.”

The apartment complex is one of eight properties owned and operated by the city’s housing authority. The 14-story complex was constructed in the late 1960s and caters to elderly residents aged 55 and older. The building has 155 apartment units of varying size, most of which are occupied.

The Housing Authority of Covington meeting on March 15. Photo by Nathan Granger | LINK nky

The sewer repair project began as a way of addressing the problem of large amounts of mineral scale buildup and infrastructure deterioration in the building. As the mineral deposits from the old pipes increased, they gathered in the lower parts of the sewer system, causing backups and clogs. Arlinghaus said the problem predated his five-year tenure as executive director and that the backups had increased in frequency since he entered the role.

The repair project is funded by capital funds from federal grants and will cost roughly $1 million by the time it’s completed. Construction at the tower was overseen by Century Construction and their associated subcontractors.

The construction had forced the relocation of several residents in the buildings, who were moved to 14 empty apartment units while the construction went on. Now that phase 3 is complete, they will soon move back into their original units, but other residents will need to relocate to the empty units to make room for the final stage of repairs.

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The sewers themselves weren’t the only things that needed repairing, however. In addition to the pipes, the repairs also entailed the replacement of the units’ sink cabinets as well as some larger scale repairs.

Arlinghaus described some of these other repairs, several of which are still in progress. The first was the replacement of a fire pump and control panels, which were delayed due to shipping problems.

“We estimate we’re about two weeks out from completion on that,” Arlinghaus said.

As a result of the delay in that repair, the building will be without centralized fire suppression sprinkler systems for about two days.

Queen City Mechanical is coordinating with Covington Fire to determine what’s the best method for us to proceed with moving forward,” Arlinghaus said. “We’re prepared to do whatever the fire department recommends that we do, but they are aware of the situation.”

Other repairs include the replacement of a water pump, which should be replaced by the beginning of April, and repairs to the building’s trash compactor. Arlinghaus said that the parts for the compactor had been ordered, but he wasn’t sure when the repairs would be completed.

The repairs to Golden Tower are part of a five-year capital investment plan that began in 2022. Other repairs outlined in the plan include upgrades to the building’s elevator system, window replacements and roof repairs. Repairs at other properties owned by the housing authority are laid out in the plan as well, according to documents on the housing authority’s website.

The final repairs to the sewer lines should be completed by May 1, said Arlinghaus.

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The next meeting of the housing authority board of commissioners will take place on April 19 at 4:30 p.m. at the housing authority’s central office on Madison Avenue. It will include a public hearing to discuss the authority’s annual plan.

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