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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

City Council Round-Up: VA Homes Take Next Step, Dangerous Animal Ordinance, Merchants and Music Festival

Fort Thomas City Council/FTM file

by Gina Holt
FTM City Reporter

The VA homes, a dangerous animal ordinance, the Merchants and Music Festival, and more were on the docket for discussion at Monday night's city council meeting. Here's your round-up:

VA Homes Update

City Administrator Don Martin reported that Fort Thomas city staff met with representatives from the VA, the Kentucky Heritage Council, Power Engineers and CT Engineers on Sept. 9 to finalize the process for acquiring the VA Homes.

The bid process, specific to selecting a developer, will have two steps. The city will advertise by soliciting qualified developers who are interested in bidding on the property. Once submitted, CT Engineering and the city will select qualified developers, which will be authorized to bid on the abatement, purchase, site development, and restoration of the properties. The city will coordinate with the local VA to allow access to the property for those on the list of qualified developers.

Martin says a minimum bid will be established based on expenses the city and VA have occurred as well as property value.  He estimates that the minimum bid will be just over $903,000. “The VA will give an abatement credit up to $510,000,” Martin added.

Dangerous Animals

Councilman Tom Lampe reported on the Public Safety Committee meeting that took place prior to the council meeting.

“Staff did a very thorough job researching dangerous animal ordinances,” he says. A dangerous animal ordinance was discussed at the Public Safety meeting and a draft is slated be written.

Merchants and Music Festival

The Merchants and Music Festival, presented by the Fort Thomas Renaissance Board will be held at Tower Park on Saturday, Sept. 27 from 2-11 p.m.

Fort Thomas Fire Department

It was noted by council that EMS/Fire calls were higher than usual. Fire Chief Mark Bailey stated it was partly because of drug-related calls.

“We are out right now on a heroin overdose,” he said during the meeting.

Ongoing Projects

Talks have continued with the AT&T cell tower site finder. A public meeting will be scheduled soon. The media and the people living in the immediate area of the proposed site will be notified.

The storm water work on Rossford is wrapping up. Once that is finished, streets will be blacktopped.

It has also been determined that the city owns property on Highlands High School campus that Duke Energy needs easement to for the current building project. The city is doing a quit claim deed to give the Fort Thomas School Board ownership. The school board will then give Duke the easement it needs.

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