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Wednesday, December 4, 2013

City Council Round-Up: Proposed Amendment to Alcohol Licensing, VA Homes Update

In what was possibly the briefest City Council meeting in Fort Thomas history (lasting just over 10 minutes), Council did address a few pending issues at Monday’s meeting, including an proposed amendment to Fort Thomas retail alcohol licensing and an update on the VA homes. Here’s your round-up:

Alcohol Licensing Amendment Proposed

City Councilor Jay Fossett presented to Mayor Mary Brown and the rest of Council a proposed amendment to Fort Thomas City Ordinance 111.09, which regulates the retail sale of alcohol throughout the city. Fossett presented the proposal on behalf of the Law, Labor, and License Committee. 

The current ordinance allows for the retail sale of alcoholic beverages on Sundays beginning at 1 p.m. The proposed amendment would move that time earlier, to 11 a.m.

“This recommendation is consistent with other cities’ changes in recent years,” said Fossett, former City Administrator to Covington. 

Council will vote on the matter on Dec. 16th.

VA Homes

City Administrator Don Martin reported that the federal Department of Veterans’ Affairs (VA) has confirmed the receipt of information needed to assess asbestos and lead issues within the vacant VA homes within Tower Park. Martin expects another 3-4 months before those assessments are completed and reviewed. 

As part of the city’s long-term plan to sell the VA properties to a developer, the VA requested last summer information regarding the process and cost of asbestos and lead abatement from the homes prior to sale.  

This added layer of involvement from the federal agency has some wondering how this will impact the development schedule at large. Councilor Eric Haas chimed in after Martin’s report, saying, “To me, it’s critical that the developer has control over how the abatement takes place.”

Martin seemed confident this is not a major delay.

Dead Animal Removal

At Nov. 18th’s council meeting, Fort Thomas resident Mary Beth Sensel addressed council regarding her concern over the removal of dead animals from roadways throughout the city, particularly Memorial Parkway. 

Sensel urged council that, especially on major roadways, any dead animals should be removed before 9 a.m.

On Monday, Martin confirmed what he had initially reported to Sensel at the last meeting, and added that on state and county routes and roadways — which includes Memorial Parkway and a few other major roadways in Fort Thomas — the Cabinet of Transportation is responsible for and provides clean-up.

Martin also echoed Mayor Brown and Councilor Roger Peterman’s remarks from the previous meeting, that the city relies on reports from residents in order to stay fully aware and informed on matters like these.

Property Tax Report

Administrator Martin also took Monday’s meeting as an opportunity to thank the 96-percent of Fort Thomas residents who have already paid their property taxes for the year. 

“Most cities don’t have a collection rate that high this early,” Martin said, “and for that we are grateful." 

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