|Mayor Eric Haas. FTM file.|
At the end of the meeting, Mayor Haas, asked council to consider eliminating one council meeting per month, with the exception in months June and September. He cited often short agendas in most meetings, leaving two meetings per month as excessive.
There was a packed house to start the meetings, as two police officers received their Sergeant badges. Many members of the Fort Thomas Police Department came to show their support.
Officers Chris Goshorn and Brent Moening both received promotions. Read more here.
City Health Insurance
Ken Bowman asked to amend the minutes from the last meeting to reflect a discussion point that occurred when the city's health insurance plan was brought up. Bowman asked during the last meeting if it would be possible to include Fort Thomas insurance companies in the bid in an effort to keep revenue in Fort Thomas.
It was left out of the last minutes and he wanted to make sure that was on record. Currently, Crawford Insurance in Bellevue writes the city's policy.
Haas' first action as mayor led to a tricky procedural question. Typically voting in the last meeting's minutes is one of the first agenda items. However since there were three new members of council and Counciman Peterman was absent, there was technically not a quorum to be able to vote.
City Attorney Jann Seidenfaden advised council to wait until the next meeting, but left it open for council and Mayor Haas to decide what to do. Since there was not much of a sticking point either way, they voted the minutes in without a technical quorum.
Ongoing Drainage Issue on Bonnie Lane
Sharon Schomaker addressed council about an ongoing issue that is occurring on her street of Bonnie Lane. The Schoemaker's have previously addressed council on this issue at least two times prior to Monday in 2001 and in 2008.
Mrs. Schomaker stated she was concerned that the topography on Grant Street has changed so drastically that drainage issues have put her property at risk. "We don't want standing water on our property and we can't believe that the city allows these changes to occur. This is a city issue and (by granting these permits) you are really going against a lot of your ordinances," she said.
One particular ordinance she says they are violating is that the new property owners are not being required to get engineering reports completed to build. "(The old owners) even tore up the sidewalk nine years ago when they thought they were going to build, which is against city ordinance and no one at the city checked on it or enforced anything. It's a wonder no one has been injured because it's just a wavy clump of asphalt now."
City Administrative Officer, Don Martin, replied, "If (other property owners) comply with all the permits and aren't violating ordinances, then (the city) doesn't have an option of saying no."
Schomaker claims that the engineering and changing of the topography has violated ordinances and that drainage issues caused by those changes have resulted in four houses being damaged over the 28-year span that they have lived on Bonnie Lane. A new property owner has bought the property near their house and has permits in hand to build, which is what the Schomakers are worried about.
"I can't believe the city is allowing this to happen again," said Schomaker. Later she told FTM, "All (the city) cares about it is tax revenue. They don't care about the citizens."
Mayor Haas said that he will have General Services look into the issue once again and offered a suggestion that it may have to come down to some agreement between property owners.
The VA homes bids are due January 19th. Once the city receives the bids, they have to submit them to the local VA office for review, which can take up to 30 days. Martin said he did not expect the review to take longer than that and was hopeful that they could be presented to council in February.
Final Costs for Street Resurfacing
PROPERTY OWNER PORTION/ CITY PORTION/FINAL COST
Capri Drive $ 12.77/ $8.52/ $21.29*
Franklin Avenue $ 5.22/ $5.22/ $10.44
Garrison Avenue $ 8.93/ $8.93/ $17.86
Rossford Avenue $ 12.08/ $8.05/ $20.13*
Shamrock Lane $ 8.19/ $8.19/ $16.38
Shawnee Avenue $ 7.02/$ 7.02/ $14.04
Toni Terrace $ 7.96/ $7.96/ $15.92
Additionally, the city offers financing on the costs that the property owners must pay. They are:
A property owner may have the option to finance the payment of their assessment bill over a specified period of time subject to the total amount of their assessment. Property owners with assessment bills of more than $400, but less than $1,000 may finance their bill over a three (3) year period with equal payments. Property owners with assessment bills of more than $1,000, but less than $1,500 may finance their bill over a four (4) year period with equal payments. Property owners with assessment bills of more than $1,500 may finance their bill over a five (5) year period with equal payments.
New Parks and Recreation Position
The city hired Kat Disney as the new Parks and Recreation Program Coordinator. The retirement of Penny Kramer as recreation secretary led to an opening in the department. With that retirements and the elimination of the recreation director position several years ago, the city created a new position, which is a hybrid of the two positions.