The Never-Ending Budget Process

Big Thank You to the City Council for their recent work on the mid-year budget amendment. Each item in the amendment requires Council folk meeting with the staff, phone calls and committee hearings. I and my administration appreciate the fact that council members take much of their time – I’d say much more than the average citizen realizes – to study, learn and understand these requests.

As of August, City Department heads and directors are already two months deep into the budget process for 2024 … so we will be asking Councilmen in August, September and October to once again take much of their time to assist us in this process. Preliminary budget review meetings between the mayor and council members have already begun.

Well, That's Nice

I’d like to congratulate two of our City employees, Director of Cultural Arts and Events Sarada Bonnett and Fire Fighter Kimmie Duncan for being selected into the Leadership St. Tammany Class of 2024. Very nice and speaks well of our city.

Leadership St. Tammany helps citizens increase their leadership skills and sense of community responsibility through a 10 month program. Through group discussion, on-site exposure, and presentations from leaders in our community, participants are educated on various facets of our parish (the good and the bad) including government, business, and civic and cultural organizations. The interactive curriculum helps individuals understand the ways that various civic branches of St. Tammany are connected. LST

Engineering Department Update

Lurline Dr. Phase I (Substantial Complete, adding curb cutouts to enhance drainage, giving up on sod until cooler weather.)

Lurline Dr.  Phase II (Goes out for bid this week with a  budget of $1.3M).

Sewer point repairs / CIPP in River Forest (bids due 9/07 with a budget of just over $2M).

Patricia / Michelle subsurface culvert re-build (bids due 9/21 with a budget of $350,000).

Downtown: Gibson St. / Rutland St. / Hebert Lane drainage-resurface (75% design completed with a budget of $1.5M).

Replace the bridge at Columbia Street & Mile Branch  … the Utility Relocation Assessment was funded by August’s mid-year budget amendment ($2M).

Menetre Park Boat Launch (Design 95% Complete, in permitting process with Army Corps of Engineers) $1M.

Waste Water Collection & Treatment

Sewer Plant Muck Out of pond (bids were due 8/10), budget $600,000. Low bid of $570,000. Low bidder notified and contract underway.

Due to improvements to the physical plant and processes, there has been a notable decline in “smelly” days.

New Ron Reagan Sewer force main is installed and active. There are some additional work / improvements to be done over the next couple of months.

Oak Alley Entrance Lift Station - Preparing to go to bid for the new wet well.

In addition to these and also in various stages, Engineering is overseeing or assisting with  the 15th Ave Dog Park (fencing being finished this week), Downtown Traffic study,  traffic studies for roundabouts at Columbia / Jefferson and Columbia / 30th Ave, replacement of a water main on Magee Street, rebuilding the sewer collection system from Ozone Park to the Treatment Plant ($3M State + $2M Fed = $5M project), coordinating with DOTD on revitalizing discussion of a roundabout at 21st and Tyler, coordinating with DOTD about a possible school crossing at 17th and Tyler, coordinating with DOTD on a possible improvement in the ditch on the west side of Tyler near 17th and 16th Avenues and coordinating with DOTD about a pedestrian crosswalk at Boston and Columbia.

When I say the engineering department oversees all of these projects, what I really mean by department is 3 - 4 people: Engineer Callie Baker, staff engineer Colin  Mansfield,  a Project Manager position which is currently vacant, and Construction Inspector Jacob Brister … all under our CAO Erin Bivona’s leadership. The list above is some serious work product for 3 – 4 people to churn out. Much appreciated.

Covington Police Department

Each week the Covington PD makes scores of traffic stops. In the past two weeks these stops have led to some interesting consequences:

Don't Be A Litterbug

Don't Be A Speeder

This past weekend a visitor from Baton Rouge was speeding on Boston Street. After being stopped by Cov PD, found with approximately 1,100 ecstasy pills and a stash of marijuana, the violator will now be extending his stay with us at the St. Tammany Parish Jail Bed and Breakfast.

Stop at Stop Signs

Use Your Turn Signal

Stay in Your Lane

A couple of years ago, my administration, along with our City Council and our Community, made a decision to strongly support our officers. We have been rewarded with a Police Department that is active, engaged and professional. When you see a member of the Covington PD, thank them. They deserve it.

Community Support

Safe Harbor, Hope House, YSB

Benefitting Safe Harbor:

Details and Tickets

Benefitting Hope House and Youth Service Bureau:

Details and Tickets

Did You Know?

Jahncke Avenue was originally named Louisiana Avenue. The owners of the great shipyard in Madisonville, the Jahnckes, lived on the road.

They dredged white clam shells from the bottom of Lake Ponchartrain which they used to "pave" the road. In gratitude, the citizens re-named the street Jahncke. While recently doing excavation work at Jahncke and 15th Ave, I was able to photograph the shell layer which is 3-5 inches thick.

As children, many of us remember how much it hurt walking barefooted on driveways made of shell.

Replies to this e-mail go directly to Mayor Mark.


Rooted in History, Focused on the Future

City of Covington How Do I?