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Wednesday, November 6, 2013

City Council Round-Up: Assault Investigation, Safe Routes to School Grant, 911 Service Fee, Lampe Running for Fiscal Court


by PAT LaFLEUR
City Reporter, Fort Thomas Matters

For a short meeting, Fort Thomas City Council covered a wide range of topics at Monday night’s City Council meeting. Here’s your round-up:


Assault Investigation

FTM broke the story Tuesday of three possibly related but separately occurring assaults on Sunday afternoon between 3:00-5:00 p.m.

FTPD Chief Mike Daly reported to council Monday night that police are searching for five unidentified juvenile suspects, three male and two female, who harassed, assaulted, and/or robbed a man and his son, a woman jogging, and another man walking or jogging in Fort Thomas and Southgate.

Police have not reported any leads at this time, and the FTPD plans to collaborate with Southgate Police for this investigation. Click here for the full story.


Lampe Running for Fiscal Court

Council member Tom Lampe, Republican from Covert Place currently serving his sixth term on Fort Thomas City Council, has announced that he will vie for Democrat Ken Rechtin's seat on Campbell County’s Fiscal Court in 2014, according to a report by Cincinnati.com.

“I believe it is important to start at the beginning and learn about government before you move to the next steps,” Lampe said, citing his experience with Fort Thomas City Council as his main qualification for the Fiscal Court seat.

Lampe has served continuously on City Council since 2002, and currently serves as the chair of the Public Safety Committee. Lampe also serves on the Public Works Committee and the Finance Committee.

All members of Fort Thomas City Council, including Mayor Mary Brown, are up for re-election in 2014.


Grant Sought to Fund New Sidewalk

City Administrator Don Martin announced Monday night that Fort Thomas has applied for part of this year’s Safe Routes to School grant money, for infrastructure improvements in the city.

Specifically, Martin said, the funds procured from the grant would go toward the construction of a sidewalk on N. Ft. Thomas Ave. between Covert Run Pike and North Ridge Dr., approximately 4,000 ft of sidewalk, at the northern border of Fort Thomas.

According to Martin, the grant proposal is a direct result of a petition filed by residents of this area approximately three years ago, requesting a sidewalk be installed on this stretch of N. Ft. Thomas Ave.

“City policy states that the city will not construct new sidewalks where no sidewalks already exist without the assistance of grant money,” Martin said. The city has applied for this grant in order to move forward with fulfilling this request.

Preliminary estimates by City Planning Commission member Frank Twehues put the cost of the project around $700,000.

“The grant would not be enough to cover the whole project, but would be a good start,” Martin said. 

The Safe Routes to School Program, a national initiative dedicated to fostering safe walking and bike riding to school, is administered at the state level. Typical grants range from $50,000 to $200,000f or more, according to Martin. 

The city expects to hear on the status of their application within the next three to six months.


911 Service Fee

Council heard the first reading of an ordinance eliminating the monthly 911 service fee on telephone landlines, along with the first reading of an amendment to the city's 911 service fee structure to account for Campbell County's new annual tax. 

Fort Thomas will no longer collect revenue from the $3/month tax fee to fund 911 service fees. Campbell County will fund 911 dispatch services by collecting an annual $45 fee for each occupied building on a property. For more details, click here.

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