Traffic on Trinity Place/St. Nicholas Place:
Fort Thomas resident Amanda Bricking, representing several Trinity Place residents who attended the meeting, asked if results were in from the speed survey the police conducted on her street.
Bricking said the speed survey was requested because of cars cutting through Trinity Place/St. Nicholas Place to avoid the intersection at Highland Avenue and North and South Fort Thomas Avenues before and after school.
Lt. Casey Kilgore reported that the survey was conducted Nov. 2-10 and included 1,748 cars. Of those, five were going a mile or two above the 25 mph speed limit.
Mayor Eric Haas said it seems that speed is not a problem, but it is a safety issue having so many cars cut through such a small residential street.
He requested that the police have an officer park in the area during peak times to discourage people cutting through.
Councilman Ken Bowman brought up an issue with the 25 mph speed limit on small streets like Trinity Place.
“25 is way too fast,” Bowman said. “I don’t know why we don’t have a conversation about that.”
Bowman has brought up the issue before, citing the excessive speed on side streets at a October 2014 meeting. The City Administrative Officer, Don Martin, said during that meeting that with the next budget cycle council can budget for an engineering study to be done to determine whether the speed limits should change. It's not clear if that was indeed included in the 2015-2016 budget.
During that meeting, former Mayor Mary Brown disagreed with Bowman, stating that "Children shouldn't be playing on the streets. That's a parent issue."
Deer issue in the city:
Madonna Place resident Mary Ann Sarakatsannis-Jenkins addressed the council with her concerns about the deer issue in the city, stating she has three bucks and 15 does frequenting her back yard.
Jenkins said the deer are eating plants, damaging property, posing health risks and have even killed animals, including a neighbor’s dog.
She requested that the city re-visit the deer issue, and asked if it was possible for them to require hunters to kill a doe before they can kill a buck.
Councilman Roger Peterman said he doesn’t think the city can regulate that and that it would be something the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife regulates.
Councilman Bowman brought up a deer sterilization program Cincinnati is doing and requested they look more into that for Fort Thomas.
Fire Department Report:
Captain Steve Lumpp presented the Fire Department’s monthly report, noting that during the month of October, two heart attack victim’s lives were saved thanks to residents acting quickly and performing CPR until emergency responders got to the scene.
Lumpp also told council that throughout the month, which was Fire Prevention Month, the department reached 1,270 people through its various educational programs.
Police Department Report:
Lt. Casey Kilgore presented the police department’s monthly report, noting that during October the police held several proactive community presentations with groups like the boy scouts, schools and daycares.
City Administrator Report:
City Administrator Ron Dill reported that the city’s street resurfacing program is nearly complete, with just the final inspection taking place this week.
Dill also informed council that the Northern Kentucky Water District is getting ready to take down the water tower behind the city building and start building the replacement tower.
Dill reported that city staff is still working with the VA homes developer and the VA to begin the abatement process so the project can move forward.
During his report, Dill commended Highlands Middle School teacher Rick Rafferty, and his students and their parents, who recently completed a Prepare Affair volunteer project to fix up the trail in Highland Park.
NKY Regional Hazard Mitigation Plan:
Council authorized Haas to enter into the Northern Kentucky Area Development District’s (NKADD) NKY Regional Hazard Mitigation Plan.
Dill said the plan, which includes all of NKADD’s jurisdictions in the area and started in 2007, but has to be updated every 5 years.
The plan, funded by FEMA, is an attempt to take a regional, collaborative approach to mitigating losses from disasters.
Benefits of participating in the plan also include participants being eligible for Pre-Disaster Mitigation Funding through FEMA and getting points towards FEMA’s Community Rating System (CRS), which can lower home insurance rates for homeowners in floodplains.
Window Replacement at the City Building:
Dill said the city is working to replace the windows in the city building - many of which are the original windows from the 60s and are very inefficient. The project was put out to bid, but only two bids were received, one of which was disqualified for not submitting necessary bid bonds.
Dill said since so few bids were received, and the two that did come in were drastically different with one being about $24,000 and one about $48,000, he wants city staff to revisit the project, make adjustments and reissue the bid process.
Council approved Dill’s request.
Target Tax Incentives:
Councilman Adam Meier said that the law, labor and license committee met prior to the council meeting to discuss the targeted tax incentive program. Meier said progress was made, but the committee wanted to conduct more research.
Meier's plan, dubbed "Pretty the City" has been in the works since he joined council, most recently going in front of the Law, Labor and License Committee in May.
The NKADD prepared the draft after it was moved out of committee in May.