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Friday, March 9, 2018

Fort Thomas City Council Roundup: Police News, Street Program and a Name Change for the VA Homes

New Fort Thomas Police Officer Joe Paolucci was welcomed back from the Academy and is completing training.

The project we’ve all been calling "VA Homes" has a new name in keeping with the new life of the property. It is now the "Alexander Circle" project named by the developer for the street on which the newly renovated homes are situated.

At the February Fort Thomas City Council meeting, City Administrator Ron Dill shared the new name and said he would try to use that going forward.

The city has just concluded most of the discussions with utilities for the project, and the developer is working on a Stage Two plan that should be unveiled within the next 60 days. Neighbors should expect to see work beginning on the site this spring.

More project updates and the 2018 Street Program

Dill shared a few updates on other projects around town. City staff attended a pre-construction meeting with Smith Construction, the company that will be working on Burnet Ridge repairs. The company is lining up their insurance and bonding papers and expects to start the work as soon as the weather breaks.

Bids are out for the Mess Hall and Armory renovations and are due to be opened on March 13. As with the other projects on deck, work can begin once weather clears — expect a busy construction season in Fort Thomas.

Council approved engineers’ estimates and assessments for the current Street Program. These include the following:

  • Custis Avenue (from Washington Avenue to Alexandria Pike): $9.64/linear foot, total cost $19.28
  • Diana Court (from Highview Drive to its terminus): $8.03/linear foot, total cost $16.06
  • Highview Drive (from Highland Avenue to its terminus: $9/linear foot, total cost $18
  • Lafayette Court (from Washington Avenue to its terminus): $6.93/linear foot, total cost $13.86
  • Lilac Lane (from Highview Drive to Newman Avenue): $9.40/linear foot, total cost $18.80
  • Washington Avenue (from Highland Avenue to the city’s corporate boundary with Newport, Joyce Avenue): 9.74/linear foot, total cost of $19.48

At its recent hearing, the Public Works Committee approved the Street Resurfacing Program for 2018. Council Member Ken Bowman, chairman of the committee, read a recommendation for the program to include complete reconstruction of three streets: David Drive, Pentland Place and Saber Court.

Residents who attended the hearing were in favor of the program but were concerned about speeding issues on Pentland Place, said Bowman. He was pleased that the issue was addressed immediately at the meeting. After discussion with committee members, residents and city staff, bump outs were added to the project to help deter speeding.

Police Department shares good news

Two Fort Thomas Police Officers received new badges reflecting their recent promotions. Chris Carpenter earned the rank of lieutenant and Adam Noes became a sergeant.

Chief Mike Daly said he was proud of both men who have already proven themselves as great representatives of the department and the community.

Families were on hand and, in keeping with tradition, they were invited to pin on the badges.

RELATED: Two Fort Thomas Officers Promoted

Daly also re-introduced new police officer Joe Paolucci who has returned from the Police Academy and is currently with a field training officer.

"Joe has done an amazing job in the FTO program," said Daly. "All reports coming out from the training officers are nothing but excellent."

Said Paolucci, "I just want to thank you again. The academy was great and I had a lot of fun and learned a lot. I made friends there with a lot of great people who will be friends for life…Overall a great experience…I feel extremely blessed to have this opportunity."

Paolucci has spent most of his life in Fort Thomas. He graduated Highlands High School in 2013 and was pursuing a degree in criminal justice at Thomas Moore College but put that on hold when he decided to try out for the police department.

RELATED: Local Resident Joins Fort Thomas Police

More good police news for the community

The police chief announced that Saturday, April 28, is National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. The lobby of the Fort Thomas Police Station will be open that day from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. so that residents may bring in leftover prescription medications to be disposed of safely. Officer Sean Donelan will oversee the event. The prescription drug take back day has proven to be successful in keeping prescriptions out of the hands of children and other vulnerable people.

Daly also shared that his department is exploring the idea of creating a new position within the Police Department. In the data-gathering stage, the department is trying out the position of traffic officer. Officer Nick Hoffman has been serving in that role as a test case and is gathering data for evaluation.

"Nick has been doing an amazing job with this position," said Daly. "We’ve been inundated with traffic issues like speeding and stop sign violations. Even the issue of heroin includes people driving recklessly when they’ve taken the drug…In March we will put some numbers together and present a report to show how effective this can be," said Daly.

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