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Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Fort Thomas City Council Notes (5-5-14)

FTM file
A sparsely attended City Council meeting from the residents and council members saw a VA homes update, the 2013 deer report, taxes and fees that could affect residents and businesses among others items.

Here's the rundown:

- Roger Peterman and Eric Haas were absent. 

VA Homes
Fort Thomas received verbal approval for their latest plans for the VA homes and their eminent development. They will now wait for a written contract prepared by the government. 

City Administrator, Don Martin, said he hopes that the city will receive that contract within 3-4 weeks. "I wish it could happen much quicker," said Martin. 

2013/2014 Program Report on Archery in Fort Thomas
FTM will provide a more detailed analysis of this report in the near future. 

Here are a summary of details for the archery program and deer management measures for the past year:

- October 21, 2013- City Council amended the ordinance to allow the discharge of arrows during the entire Kentucky archery season for deer from one half hour before sunrise to 10:00 AM and to allows owners of contiguous lots that add up to three acres to combine their lots to discharge arrows. 

The city saw three applications submitted to the city seeking permission to combine lots. Two of those applications met the requirements set forth. 

This was a point of contention among council meetings throughout the last year. 

- There were 27 deer-related vehicle accidents from 2013, which were seven more than in the previous year without the expanded hunt. Of the 27 accidents, five were reported to avoid hitting a deer and none of the accidents resulted in an injury. None of the accidents involved a police cruiser. 

- Memorial Parkway was once again the most frequent site for deer-related accidents, with 12 of the 27 accidents occurring there (44%). Alexandria Pike was next on the list with 4 of the 27 accidents (15%) and Route 8 was next with 3 of the 27 accidents (11%)

Utility Contracts
The city's contracts with the utility contracts are up for renewal next May. The city has begun negotiations with those companies and expects to have them completed in about six month. 

Occupational Taxes Could be Raised

The county collects approximately $2,350,000 in payroll and occupational license fees for Fort Thomas annually.  The county keeps $23,500 of that as a collection fee.  It would cost the city more than three times that amount to collect the fees "in-house".  So, the decision was made years ago to contract with the county and eliminate a position in the finance department.  

If the occupational tax rate does increase to 2% there will still be a net savings to the city, but not as much.  The increased collection fee will still be less than if the city hired an employee to do the work in-house. 

The Campbell County Fiscal Court has requested to double Fort Thomas' occupational tax from 1 to 2%. This matter was referred to the Finance Committee. The city could decline the raise, but according to Martin, Fort Thomas would then have to collect those taxes ourselves, which would include having to hire someone and purchase software among other items. 

Street Resurfacing Ordinance to Proceed
A first reading for the ordinance to proceed with the 2014 street resurfacing program was read. Capri Drive, Franklin Avenue, Garrison Avenue, Rossford Avenue, Shamrock Lane, Shawnee Avenue and Toni Terrace. 

The cost of the street improvements will be split among the city and the residents 50/50, except for residents on Rossford Ave. and Capri Drive, where the split will by 60% for the city and 40% for the residents. 

There are estimates complete for the total work available to residents. 

Surplus Items for Bid
There are four surplus items that the city will be selling in a sealed bidding process. They are:
- 2009 Crown Victoria
- 2007 Crown Victoria
- Single-axel trailer (40x48x54)
- 2 reclining chairs 

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