Ritte’s Corner is the heart of old Latonia, a natural community gathering place where five streets come together, historic buildings still stand, and new, lively businesses have opened. It’s a great place to walk, shop, eat lunch, hang out, and its preservation and renewal is a key to the Covington neighborhood’s revitalization.
READ MORE: The historic neighborhood of Latonia is reimagining itself as a 21st century walkable community
The neighborhood effort got a nod of support from the city of Covington with a grant to make some aesthetic improvements around the old town square. Covington agreed to award $3,100 to the Latonia neighborhood to use for two benches, planters, and paint for existing planters.
The grant was part of a round of funding totaling nearly $27,000, made to seven neighborhood groups as part of Covington’s Neighborhood Grant Program.
The funding is for small improvement projects that can mean a lot for neighborhood identity and quality of life. They range from park benches to solar lampposts to a trash can shaped for pizza boxes.
The grants ranged from $2,500 to $5,000. Covington’s neighborhood grants are typically awarded to neighborhood associations and groups of residents for projects that improve their surroundings, Covington officials say. Businesses, individuals, schools, and religious organizations are not eligible.
In addition to Latonia, the neighborhoods that won grants are:
- Austinburg: $5,000 for banners, a trash can, and streetside tree plantings.
- Peaselburg: $3,500 for planters, signs, wreaths, and perennial flowers.
- Monte Casino: $3,525 for banners, trees, pedestrian signs, pet waste stations, flag poles, and a lending library.
- Old Seminary Square: $4,174.32 for mature trees, park benches, and banners.
- MainStrasse Village: $5,000 for a trash can designed for pizza boxes, street banners, and repair of a neighborhood sign.
- Wallace Woods: $2,500 for repair or replacement of a park bench, groundcover plants, and solar lamp posts.
The Covington-based Center for Great Neighborhoods worked with some of the groups to fine-tune their applications and plans for the funding.
“In a time when many neighborhood groups have taken a bit of a hiatus from their normal volunteer efforts and event plans, we were really happy to help collaborate on this many great projects,” says Shannon Ratterman, program director of community development at The Center. “You could really tell that there is a desire from residents to get back out into their community.”