As cuts loom over Covington's city hall, remaining business owners just want company

03/12/2012 07:28 PM

A decline in population and a steady loss of employers in Covington has compounded the city’s budget woes. That has prevented Covington from fixing roads and infrastructure, which has no doubt hampered its ability to attract more residents and businesses. And that had exacerbated the city’s revenue troubles.

That’s the vicious cycle Chuck Scheper — a former pharmaceutical company executive — found himself trying to break when the city’s board of commissioners selected him to take over for Denny Bowman, who resigned as mayor last fall.

Scheper, who studied Covington’s financial situation as part of a review of the city’s operations in 1999, said he wasn’t surprised to find the red ink he did when he took office.

But he’s still facing tough decisions to work with city workers unions on their contracts, cutting spending and potentially consolidating services with other cities and finding ways to bring employers back.

And the business owners who are still in Covington’s downtown say that can’t happen soon enough.

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