Council members touched upon the potential future of several areas of the city Tuesday evening.
City Council members heard updates to the city’s Comprehensive Plan, which Interim City Manager Ryan Haverlah presented in various pieces during the regularly scheduled workshop.
Specifically, council members discussed various ways to draw more residents and developers within city boundaries.
Haverlah introduced the Comprehensive Plan as a “road map” for the city moving forward.
The plan is meant to cover a 20-year horizon — every 10 years or so the Comprehensive Plan should be revised, even redone from the ground up, according to city officials.
The process of updating the plan began in May 2016.
The plan covers economic development, future land use and transportation, along with housing strategies, public facilities, annexation and other topics.
Mayor Frank Seffrood said the city should focus on improving gateway signs to the city, which he said become unreadable at night.
Haverlah noted the Economic Development Committee is in charge of maintaining the signs.
In addition, he said an ordinance is in place that limits the signs to only being lighted by solar panels.
“I take them as a sign of pride,” Seffrood said. “Let’s make them signs that can be seen.”
Cove should focus on developing a “singular focal point,” the plan touched on. Potential areas where more focus could be invested include alongside U.S. Business 190 and downtown. Moreover, the possibility of a “signature” structure was touched upon.
Haverlah described such a structure as a symbolic piece to Cove unrestrained by any building regulations.
Downtown, Councilman Jay Manning suggested the area could be revitalized by investors if the city decreases regulations on development.
“Let’s incentivize it by getting our hands off of it,” Manning said.
Beyond downtown, maintaining a general aesthetic in neighborhoods was also touched upon,
While most councilmembers supported the idea of encouraging fixtures such as more foliage and front porches, most cautioned Haverlah against any regulations that require residents to add such things to their property.
In other business, council awarded a bid of $679,261 for the first phase of the Golf Cart Path renovation project to Myers Concrete Construction.
The project will fix cracked, dilapidated sidewalks along the Hills of Cove golf course.
The renovation was bid for construction one time previously in October 2017. Bids were taken to City Council with a recommendation to reject, as the bids surpassed the budgeted amounts for the project.
The project was then rescoped and re-bid, receiving four bid submittals on April 27. The project was broken down into three separate phases in order to parse out the cost to different fiscal years.
The cost of the last two phases totals $340,000.
The council also approved the purchase of new radios thanks to a $56,739.40 grant from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.