Members of Covington City Council are continuing their search for a new city manager.

Council has pared down an initial pool of about 25 candidates to a final two, who will return to Covington Monday for a second round of interviews.

Four candidates were invited for face-to-face interviews early last week, with two now in the running for the city manager’s position.

Current interim City Manager Clay Goodman has filled the role since Feb. 11, following the resignation of former City Manager Richard Douglas on Feb. 1.

Douglas came to Covington three years ago from Raeford, N.C., where he worked 11 years as city manager. He also served as town manager of Selma, N.C., county administrator of Long County, Ga. and town manager of Erwin, N.C.

One of the first tasks facing Covington’s new top administrator is the hiring of a permanent chief of the Covington Division of Police.

Interim Chief Chris Smith has been filling that role since the departure of former Chief Anthony Morgan on Feb. 8. Morgan was hired to head a police department in Mount Rainier, Md.

Another issue facing the new city manager includes negotiations with the Alleghany County Board of Supervisors and Alleghany County Sheriff Kevin Hall regarding sheriff’s department law enforcement funding, regional jail funding and the reconciliation of past-due billings for joint services.

Earlier this month, both city council and the board of supervisors approved a memorandum of understanding which calls for joint monthly meetings beginning in July to discuss  and resolve those issues.

The new city manager will also have to help facilitate an expansion project at the city’s wastewater treatment plant.

The city is faced with constructing a new stormwater catch-basin at a cost of roughly $4 million to meet the requirements of a Virginia Department of Environmental Quality consent order.

Members of Covington City Council held a closed session Tuesday to discuss candidates for the city manager’s post.

Following Monday’s second round of interviews, city council is planning to hold a closed session Tuesday following its July work session.

Council has not indicated whether a decision will be made on a new city manager following Tuesday’s work session.