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Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Fort Thomas Residents Express Frustrations About Imperial Apartments

Imperial Aparments. Google Street View. 
Multiple residents came to council last night to express their frustrations at the behavior and upkeep on the Imperial Apartments located at 825 and 831 S. Grand Avenue.

Last week Fort Thomas Matters published the call/response/activity data from Fort Thomas Police that showed that activity for the area was trending down.

2010 - 77
2011-  82
2012 - 40
2013 - 58
2014 - 42
2015 - 14

Throughout the discussions between residents and council, it was let known that the apartment complexes are pending sale to a new owner. The list price for both units, with 16 total apartments, is $784,000.

Chief Mike Daly said he understood the frustrations of the residents and offered a solution if a new owner takes control of the property.  "If there is in deed an ownership change, we may be able to set up a forum with the new owner, residents and the police department to move forward in a positive way," he said. "We can set expectations, talk about things that have happened in the past and open a new line of communication."

Councilman Ken Bowman agreed that with a new owner, it would be a good time to reset the atmosphere at Imperial Apartments. "Hopefully the new owner will take a different approach, so it’s not just a paycheck to them month after month and they can take an interest in the community and neighbors," he said.

"The calls are trending in a positive direction due to the cooperative efforts of (residents), the police department and the owners (of the buildings).  Of the 14 interactions in 2015, 8 were for “area checks” or “foot patrol” where the police simply stopped and checked the property," City Administrator Don Martin wrote in a memo to council.

Four residents spoke to vent their frustrations and ask for solutions.

Paul Menetrey, of Crescent Lane, asked the city to step in to try to implement a city ordinance that would discourage bad behaivor. "I’ve lived on Crescent for 36 years and it's gotten out of hand. A lot of noise, a lot of cursing. It’s an ongoing problem. The residents there are low-class. I know the owner takes section eight (federal housing residents).  Is a city like Fort Thomas allowed to refuse section eight or do they have bow because it's a  federal program.”

Peggy Leahy simply held up her cell phone to the microphone at the podium so that council could hear what she recorded Friday night at 9:35 p.m. Popping sounds seemed to ring out. "You're not sure what you are hearing when those noises happen," she said.

Andrea Patrick, who also lives near the apartments and has addressed council on this issue before also asked for help. "I think it seems like we’ve been very reactive, but at what point does (the city) become proactive? When we call the police (the residents at Imperial) know how long it takes for someone to get there so by the time police arrive, they go back into the complex. We’ve been battling for the last four years."

Krista Jacob said that she can't eat in the sunroom in the back of her house because house abuts the apartment complex and the noise is constant. She detailed an incident last year that FTM reported last year that she said has stuck with her.

"There was someone that was tackled in front of my house with a weapon. I shouldn’t have to live like that. Now would be the time to enact change," she said.  "When I moved there I knew to some degree of what I was getting into, but not to that extent. Three months after living there I found a used condom on my doorstep. There’s a homeless woman living in those woods behind my house."

Mayor Eric Haas said that the problems at Imperial Apartments are something that the city would like to get taken care of, but legally the city can only do so much.

Councilman Roger Peterman said that he didn't realize it was as bad as it was. "I've been on council for a long time and this is as bad of a report as I've heard," he said. Peterman mentioned that the city could check with Housing Authority to see if the section eight requirements are being met. "It’s possible they could be denied the section eight vouchers for some of these behaviors and code enforcement." 

Councilman Jeff Bezold, owns property which are then rented to tenants, none of which are subsidized by section eight vouchers.  He cautioned council not to generalize with section eight tenants. "Not all section eight tenants are bad, but bad apples can ruin it for everyone. But that property there seems to attract some bad characters," he said.

Chief Daly said that one of the topics at the command staff meeting last Thursday were the Imperial Apartments. "One of the things we are trying to do is listen to what (the residents) are saying. Bike patrols out a little more and would like to show more of a presence. We understand that there are frustrations and we hopefully want to make it an uneventful summer," he said. "Continue to call us. That is our job."  

The description of the two apartments Imperial Apartments that is currently pending:

Sixteen, two bedroom units in two buildings. 8 built in garages are rented separately. Good occupancy rate. Possibility of finishing a bsmt unit, or adding another building or more garages. Owner has made significant upgrades in the past several years. The tenants pay their own, electric, gas (Heat), water and sanitation. Each unit has in apartment laundry hookups.



  1. I think this problem is not only at the Imperial Apts. It is the entitlement mentality that is the problem. People want everything you got but they don't want to work for it. I am from Ft. Thomas and now live in Covedale Oh and this problem is really a lot worse than you realize.

  2. Wow Paul. All I can say is, WOW!

  3. All I can say is how incredibly embarrassing this is. As a life long Fort Thomas resident I can firmly say that never have I ever been more embarrassed to be from this town than I am upon reading this article. These, for lack of better words-snobs, have absolutely no girth, credibility or logical sense to their complaints. These residents are complaining for the sake of complaint. You aren't upset about the noise. You aren't upset about your "peace" being infringed upon. You are upset that you have to share your space and coexist with impoverished individuals, whom in your eyes don't deserve to even take up space. Wake up and at least try attempting to pop your bubble and learn a little bit about human compassion. You will be a much happier person because of it, I promise.

    1. I so agree with you Anonymous (6-7-15). Just because you are not the "upper class" doesn't mean you are a bad person. Not all of us on HUD are bad people and to bunch us all in a group is wrong.
      Ft. Thomas is nice place and the residents need to get off their high horses. People should be treated as equals no matter what their financial status is.

    2. I grew up in Ft.Thomas as well and still have friends who live there but I refuse to because of situations as these. I live in a nice home, drive nice cars and work 50+ hours a week for what I have and would still give the shirt off my back to anyone. I loved Ft. Thomas growing up and I had a lot of friends from all walks of life. But as an adult I see how those who would judge truly are and I want no part of it. I see friends from High School who look the other way now as if they do not know me, it's a shame people have to be this way and unfortunately Ft. Thomas is well known for that.