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Wednesday, March 7, 2012

City Council Notes 3/5/12 (by Ben Petracco)

As previously noted Fort Thomas Matters is going to attend the city council meetings throughout the year and relay the important topics to the public. I attended the meeting on Monday, March 5th; the following are issues that were covered:

JC Morgan, the Campbell County Library Director, spoke to the council members regarding a proposal to construct a Library branch to service the southern district of Campbell County. As seen on the map the new site for the library would be located past Campbell County High School, between Grants Lick Elementary and John W. Reily Elementary. You can see the “blueprint” of the proposed library; in order for this blueprint to become reality the annual library tax would have to be raised from $74 to $94. Mayor Brown commended Mr. Morgan for his work and the libraries service to Campbell County, and advised that the board would take the tax raise into consideration.

A resident who lives on Overlook Drive spoke at the meeting asking for advice and assistance. His backyard is lined with dead pine trees that are technically on property that belongs to the Fort Thomas Plaza. He has noticed the branches falling and sticking into the ground like giant natural javelins. He wanted to cut them down himself in fear that the branches could hurt the children that play in the area. With the trees being on private property he was advised against removing the trees himself at the risk of being sued. According to him, it has been relatively difficult dealing with the shopping center representatives and asked the council members if there was any way to expedite the process to get the trees removed.

The most discussed issue of the night was probably the proposal to put artificial turf on the soccer field at the fort. Mr. David Meyer brought this proposal to the council’s attention in Dr. Mark Farley’s stead. Meyer acknowledged the difficulties of maintaining a functioning soccer field with natural grass when there are 6 teams that use the field on a regular basis.

The addition of turf would make the field more accessible to the community, and would present the option of renting the field to different squads. A new surface for the field would start at around $750,000. The project already has secured monies from the athletic boosters, soccer fundraisers, donations, and investors throughout the city.

Meyer brought this to the council’s attention because they are requesting the cities assistance in financing the project though bonding. Councilman Peterman explained the details and legal process’ to issue bonds and borrow the money required to attain the proper funds; needless to say it is an in-depth process. Councilman Haas agreed that the turf is a great idea and a project that should definitely be pursued.

Fire Chief Mark Bailey had some exciting news. The new fire engine, Engine 601, is now in service. Chief Bailey said that the engine will be serving our city for the next 25-30 years; I was fortunate to get some pictures of it in the garage.
Lieutenant James Gadzala said that while January was a relatively quiet month for the police department, February was a different story. On February 6th Lieutenant Gadzala had to commend the police and fire departments for their outstanding work on rescuing a victim from a car accident. When they arrived at the scene on I-275 the car had burst into flames and the driver was on fire. They successfully rescued the driver, transported him to UC hospital where he made a full recovery.

The police department also apprehended a trio of thieves, 2 male, one female, who were breaking into homes around Chesapeake and Newman Avenues. The moral of the story is mainly don’t be a thief, but also remember to Lock Your Doors.

The deer survey that was taken to gain perspective on deer population is too expensive for Ft. Thomas to shoulder the financial burden alone this time around. The company that has been used in the past will not reduce their rates and another city could not be found to share the cost of the infrared survey; therefore the survey has been put on the backburner for now.

Editor's Note:
Correction to the above via a council member:
I wanted to let you know that the deer survey is still going to be done. We are waiting for them to give us the date or range of dates. It has to be on a clear night etc before the leaves are on the trees.

The earlier story on the drainage problem at 131 Grant Street is being addressed. The size of the sewer intake is going to be increased if it can handle the influx of water, and if that is not possible the sewer line will be replaced to handle a larger amount of water and rectify the problem.

Are there any issues that you would like to be brought to the council’s attention on the 19th? Leave your comments here:

1 comment:

  1. I wish there was a way to address the garbage issue within our town, especially around the high school/middle school/convenience store areas. For the most part people will use garbage cans when there is room in them. This is often not the case which causes the wind to spread the lovely bits all over our beautiful city. Can the city increase the amount of times the garbage cans are emptied around higher traffic areas? thanks!