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Tuesday, October 7, 2014

City Council Round-up: Cell Tower, Dog Ordinance, Speed Limits

The Fort Thomas City Council was busy Monday night discussing changes to the city's dog ordinances, the proposed cell tower in the north end of town, city speed limits, an injured officer and much more.

AT&T Cell Tower
Several residents attended the October 6 council meeting to discuss the proposed cell tower. "We are taking a proactive stance," Cindy Loos, who lives on Broadview, said after distributing a sheet listing concerns to council. "Please consider how the cell tower's presence will have negative effects on property values, neighborhood views and are area aesthetics."

David Gross, Ian Brewer and a few other residents who live on Mel Lawn echoed her concerns. "We can put this somewhere else, I'm certain," said Gross.

AT&T has approached the city about building a cell tower but there are still several steps that need to happen before the city would make a decision. Don Martin, city administrator, said a public hearing would be held but he is still waiting on meeting dates from the phone company. Mayor Mary Brown promised the residents that they would be kept informed.

City Website
City Council Candidate Adam Meier addressed council with a few website suggestions. He asked council to consider making the meeting accessible online via video. He suggested uploading to YouTube and posting the link on the city website or using another service to provide the video. "It wouldn't provide much of a burden on the city," he said.

Meier also suggested having a tab on the website landing page that highlights the businesses in the Fort Thomas."It's going to do nothing but help our local economy" he said.

Councilman Tom Lampe appreciated the suggestions. "You brought up some good examples. Our website needs upgraded."

Martin said the city is researching companies that can provide a more modern and user-friendly website.

Police Report
Officer Chris Goshorn will be off the streets for a while. Chief Mike Daly reported that Officer Goshorn was in an accident at his home on Thursday when riding lawn mower flipped over. He was taken to the University of Cincinnati where he was treated for broken bones and underwent surgery. He is not permitted to bear weight for three months and will need extensive therapy. He is expected to be moved to an in-patient physical rehab center tomorrow. "Please keep Chris in your thoughts and prayers," said Daly.

Highland Hills Dog Park
Martin reported that council has asked that the city require dogs at the city dog park to be spayed or neutered. Since the rules were set by staff there is no real penalty. Martin suggested that the Recreation Committee meet to review rules and then have council adopt them by ordinance so a penalty can be put in place for violation.

VA Homes
The bid documents were finalized on Friday. The city is now seeking statements from qualified bidders and will then invite them to bid on the project. "We're making progress and we're excited about that," said Martin.

City Speed Limits
Councilman Ken Bowman suggested that the city review the speed limits on some of the side streets. The speed limit in the city is 25 unless otherwise posted. It is 25 MPH on Highland Avenue, North and South Fort Thomas Avenues and Grand Avenue. It is also 25 MPH on side streets and cul-de-sacs like Mel Lawn, Edwards Court, Altamont, Vernon and Manor. He pointed out that several of these streets don't even have room for two cars to be going in opposite directions at the same time. "Twenty-five is absolutely excessive on the side streets," said Bowman adding that he's concerned a child could pop out from in between cars and the driver wouldn't be able to stop in time causing a tragedy.

"Children shouldn't be playing on the streets," Brown replied. "That's a parent issue."

Martin said that with the next budget cycle council can budget for an engineering study to be done to determine whether the speed limits should change.

After the meeting, Daly said people need to use common sense and be aware of their surroundings adding that drivers can go below the speed limit when necessary. "I always drive what's safe for the street," he said adding it's important to educate drivers on being aware of their surroundings and to educate children about street safety.

Dangerous Dog Ordinance
The first reading of the revised dog ordinance took place at the meeting. The hope is that the new ordinance will protect animals and citizens from irresponsible dog owners and dangerous dogs. A few revisions will be made before the final reading and vote at the next council meeting. Councilman Roger Peterman, who is not a member of the Public Safety Committee, was the only council member to not attend the committee meeting last month where this proposed order was discussed. He had a lot of questions and concerns about the proposed ordinance at Monday night's meeting. Martin will make the changes an a second reading and vote will be held on Oct. 20.

Of Note
- The city is looking for a live Christmas tree that is beautiful and free. "This is the one time the city will remove a tree at no cost to the home owner," said Martin.

- Ken Perry has purchased the shopping plaza on US 27 where DEPs and Fischer Homes Design Studio used to be located. He is working to bring in several businesses.

Next Council Meeting:
Monday, October 20 at 7 p.m.


  1. If a lower speed limit means safer roads, why not make all speed limits 10mph? Or 5mph? Statistically speaking, roads with higher speed limits have lower fatality rates. I am sick of all this garbage about how lowering a speed limit is going to improve things. It's ridiculous!

  2. Let's be PROACTIVE. Isn't that the tactic used frequently in the city when talking about changing ordinances?

  3. City Speed Limits--I agree with Councilman Bowmans' suggestion about reducing the speed limit on side streets. I live on a street smaller than the ones mentioned and people going 25 on it is very dangerous. I am Really disappointed in our mayors comment on the speed limit on our side streets. Yes it is a " parents issue", and children are not supposed to play in the street, but accidents do happen. Also, they may just be trying to cross the street. Chief Daly says that he always drives what is safe for the street. Well, here is a news flash, not everybody is always that cautious. If the speed limit is posted at 25 then most people will drive that fast or even faster. Aren't the signs supposed to reflect what is safe for that street? And isn't it our city's responsibility to make the laws for its citizens to help keep everyone safe? If someone is going a little slower, they can stop quicker and hopefully avoid hitting someone at all. I am not sure of the downside of reducing the speed.

  4. How is Mary Brown's comment not getting more attention?" Children shouldn't be playing on the streets," Brown replied. "That's a parent issue." Are you freaking serious? Was this quote out of context in anyway or has the lady just stopped caring.

    What an insensitive thing to say. Doesn't really surprise me. This is the same lady who dressed up as a deer hunter the Halloween after the city was split on the deer issue.

  5. The difference in stopping distances between 20 & 25 are significant , especially on wet & dry pavement. If 6 to 14 feet means the difference between a severely permanantly injured child and a 5 mph drop in speed on streets that clearly are not safe at those speeds, then sign me up. To Mayor Brown... shame on you for your callous comments. My kids dont "play in the street", but have had close calls from speeders regardless. This is a common sense issue. Anyone in Ft Thomas, and there are alot of us who live on side streets, think that a safe passage is a good idea and that 25 is simply too fast for most streets.

  6. Mary Brown is an embarrassment to our city. She should be an advocate for us, but instead she DOES NOTHING. When was the last time she went to a fiscal court meeting, met with our state reps to ask for money or sat at a river city round table?


    Our city is run by a figure head and 6 members of council that can't get anything done because the REAL person running the city is Don Martin WHO DOESNT EVEN LIVE HERE? Not good enough for you? I'm glad we pay you 6 figures and give you a car to go back and forth in Independence. What a joke.

    Who else that runs the city doesn't live here? Why is this not being reported more?

    1. Maybe we have a tax surplus because the city makes its residents pay for street repaving? I do not know of another city that does this.

  7. In regards to the speeding issue: Speed limits are only effective if they are enforced. If there is no enforcement then it doesn't matter. The speed limit on my street is 25 mph, but the cars , trucks and buses go at least 10 mph over the limit. FTPD used to regularly patrol for speeding, but no more. The mayor's comment was insensitive and seems out of touch. I have almost been run over just getting out of my car after parking on the street. Delivery people take their lives in their hands just to cross the street to drop off packages. It is an expressway.

    Re: the cell tower: Why not put it on the water tower off Marian Drive?

  8. Lowering speed limits won't matter. No one pays attention to them anymore. Most people don't even stop for stop signs in the city. It's ridiculous how many times I see people not stop at stop signs in the city every day.