COVINGTON - The Covington City Council approved policies related to filming in city limits at Monday night's meeting.
A committee that includes business owners and residents has been meeting for about a month to hash out details of an appropriate policy for film crews and production companies to follow.
The committee's recommendations, approved by the council, are:
-- For the downtown area, if customer access to business is directly impeded during business hours, a maximum of $200 per day will be paid for filming activity, which includes set up, filming and breakdown. If a business is directly affected by filming, compensation will be decided between the filming company and business owner.
-- For residential areas, set up, filming and breakdown must occur between 7 a.m. and midnight. If no traffic restrictions occur, residents are not required to be compensated. If filming or wrap up goes beyond midnight, compensation for each resident within 200 linear feet of the filming location will be $50 per day of film activity. If road closures are required, impacted residents will be compensated at a rate of $100 per day.
-- For use of private property, any agreement will be between the property owner and film company.
--A special permit from the city will be required for use of pyrotechnics, explosions and other "exceptional activity," regardless of what hour they are used.
Committee member Barbara Morgan told the council that last week alone, visitors from as far away as Chicago, California and Australia came to Covington and that 90 percent of local tourism is related to the film industry. Local businesses benefit from tourist and production company dollars spent and the local tax digest also benefits, she said.
She said "The Vampire Diaries" televisions series on average only films here between 10 and 15 days a year. Some residents and businesses are impacted more than others, she said.
She added that the committee strongly supports filming and, "It would be impossible to replace those tax revenues, tourism and world-wide recognition through any other means."