Awards & Recognitions
2007: EBIS Top Ten Award presented by the Virginia Institute of Government for outstanding support of the Institute's Technical Assistance Program
2007: Valley Conservation Council Better Models for Development Award, Winning Projects: Hawthorne Street Bridge (Best Innovation in Transportation) and Jackson River Recreation Sport Complex
2007: Excellent Public Amenity - Jackson River Recreation Sport Complex
2006: Virginia's Exception in Waterworks Award
2006: Virginia Association of Volunteer Rescue Squads State Champions in Vehicular Extraction Modular - 3rd Place
2005: Virginia's Exception in Waterworks Award
2005: Virginia Association of Volunteer Rescue Squads State Champions in Vehicular Extraction Modular - 1st Place
1998 - 1999: Outstanding Conservationist of the Year - Mountain Soil & Water Conservation District
1997 - 1998: National High School Football Field of the Year Award - Sport Turf Manager Association
1996: Dogwood Award for Beautification at Main Street Park
Directions to City Hall
From I64 E or W, take Exit 14, left onto SR 154 ( S. Durant Road), continue into downtown, turn right onto W. Locust Street, go three and one-half blocks, City Hall located on right.
From 220 North (N. Alleghany Avenue), turn right onto E. Riverside Street, left onto N. Monroe Avenue, turn right onto W. Locust Street, go one block, City Hall on left.
From Rt. 60 West, follow US 60 East to Covington, turn right on W. Locust Street, go one block, City Hall on left.
Please see the budget information contained on our Download Central!
What is now known as Alleghany County was once part of the vast Appalachian wilderness, frequented by Indians in search of game. Wildlife such as the elk, buffalo, deer, bear, puma and wolf abounded. The advent of the white settlers from east of the Blue Ridge drastically changed this picture and ushered in a different society and lifestyle than what was known.
Originally, the first settlers in the Shenandoah Valley (the "Great Valley of Virginia") laid claim to the land of what is now Covington in 1745 when the area was administered by Augusta County. This changed in 1769 when Botetourt County came to control much of the area. Boundaries were not exact and both Bath and Monroe Counties contained portions of present Alleghany County - Covington region.
In 1817-1818, the town of Covington was named in honor of General Leonard Covington, the outstanding and courageous hero of the War of 1812 who was mortally wounded the eleventh day of November, 1813 leading his troops at the Battle of Chrystler Fields near Williamsburg, Canada.
By the time of the sale of lots in 1818, it was anticipated that it would be advantageous to form a county to provide local administrative and court services. To record deeds required a two-day trip to Fincastle by horse. Accordingly, Alleghany County was formed by Act of the Virginia General Assembly from portions of Botetourt, Bath and Monroe Counties on January 5, 1822.
Despite the sale of the lots, Covington grew very slowly for by 1855, there were only 43 houses on two streets. At that time this was an agricultural community and the prosperity of stores and businesses in the town depended upon those tilling the soil, raising crops and livestock.
The first industries included the Covington Iron Furnace in 1891 (in Sunnymeade) which produced 110 tons of pig iron daily, the steam powered Deford Tannery (near present Superior Concrete Plant) in 1892, the E.M. Nettleton planing mill, and the Covington Machine Shops which produced the patented Coke extractors for use in furnace cleaning in the steel making process. Also there were two flour mills, two brick yards and the Alleghany Pin and Bracket Company. Westvaco did not begin operations until 1900 when A. Adams McAllister sold land to the company at a low price as an inducement to locating in Covington. Now, MeadWestvaco is the largest corporation and employer in the Alleghany Highlands.
The 1890's were an economic boom to Covington. Population jumped from 704 in 1890 to 2,950 at the turn of the century. The railroad ran fourteen passenger trains daily through Covington and the City was the fourth largest freight paying station on the entire C&O after Chicago, Cincinnati and Richmond.
Industrial development occurred in the 1890's and this caused the local population to increase and the town to develop its public services. A bond in the amount of $10,000 was authorized in 1892 for sidewalks and sewerage and the high school (former City Hall) was built for $30,000 around that time.
Other industries moved into the area, of which two are Industrial Rayon (now Applied Extrusion Technologies, Inc. or AET, Inc.) (closing operation in March, 2008) and Lear Corporation (closed operation December, 2005). Also the Allied Chemical Corporation assumed control of the former Extraction Plant and continued its operations.
In 1902, the Town of Covington was designated by the General Assembly to be the county seat of Alleghany County. After several expansions of the corporate limits, the Town of Covington became a City in 1952. Covington offers a wide range of services and facilities for its citizens and possesses a sound financial base. Since Covington is an independent City, residents of the City pay only city property taxes and not city and county property taxes as do residents of towns.
The City shall have and may exercise all powers which are now or may hereafter be conferred upon or delegated to cities under the constitution and laws of the Commonwealth and all other powers pertinent to the conduct of a city government the exercise of which is not expressly prohibited by the said constitution and laws and which in the opinion of the council are necessary or desirable to promote the general welfare of the city and the safety, health, peace, good order, comfort, convenience and morals of its inhabitants, as fully and completely as though such powers were specifically enumerated in this charter, and no enumeration of particular powers in this charter shall be held to be exclusive but shall be held to be in addition to this general grant of powers.
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Covington's tax rate is $0.69 per $100.00 of assessed valuation for real estate, $5.60 per $100.00 for personal property and $5.52 per $100.00 for machinery & tools.
Phone: 540 - 965-6300