|Long awaited repairs have been completed on the Burnet Ridge stabilization project.|
By Robin Gee, City Council Beat Editor
As fall approaches, several city projects are underway, while others are wrapping up. City Administrator Ron Dill gave an update at the September 17 city council meeting.
The Burnet Ridge project has been completed. After rain delays interrupted the schedule, Smith Construction has worked through the summer to finish. The project included much needed repairs and improvements to the Burnet Ridge culvert on and near property owned by Adam Blau.
RELATED: New Bids Underway for Burnet Ridge Stabilization
Work on the Pentland Place water main is near completion. Those visiting the area may notice the road is being removed and reinstalled. Again, severe weather caused delays pushing final completion date out a couple of weeks, but it is expected to be completed by the middle of October, said Dill.
RELATED: Water Main Replacement Underway on Pentland, Expected to Be Completed Before School Starts
Work is also moving along on the Alexander Circle project. Through an agreement between the developer and the Northern Kentucky Water District, the water main is being replaced from South Fort Thomas Avenue all the way into the project area. The main will run down Pearson Street, along Cochran Avenue and into the project.
"Funding for this is through an interlocal agreement between the city and the Water District, but those costs will be passed through to the developer…We are looking at an end-of-the-year time frame, which will be really good for our park usage," said Dill.
On the new school crosswalks, Dill said the city has been speaking with the school district, and he is meeting with district personnel shortly to look at specific locations at the middle school and high school. After this, he will also meet with officials at St. Thomas to determine crosswalk location there.
"We’re looking at doing some extended bump outs to be associated with the actual crosswalk signage," said Dill. "We’ve made contact with the highway department on permits. We did get permission from them to do our own installation. This is good, a significant cost savings for us."
RELATED: Crosswalk Safety Features Cap Off Moyer Project
Expanded jurisdiction for building inspections
Fort Thomas will join with Campbell County in taking on additional duties with regard to building inspections. Council members voted to allow the city to enter into an interlocal agreement with the county for what is known as expanded jurisdiction. The move would allow the city and county to take over inspections of certain types of buildings that are currently under the jurisdiction of state inspectors.
Dill explained the move would decrease the time it will take for inspections and also increase service for the city.
He said that after the Beverly Hills Supper Club fire, the Kentucky Department of Housing, Buildings and Construction required local inspection of all structures. State inspectors had jurisdiction over certain types of buildings depending on size, use and occupancy rates.
The goal was to provide a Uniform Building Code and uniform regulation throughout the commonwealth. Buildings assigned to the state include hospitals, schools, childcare centers, multifamily residential over a certain square footage and even churches over a certain seating capacity.
Over the years, the state has granted expanded jurisdiction to allow municipalities with qualified staff to take over some state projects with a few exceptions, such as education or nursing facilities, that must remain under the state.
Campbell County recently approached the city of Fort Thomas for an agreement to allow county inspectors expanded jurisdiction for allowable local properties.
Moving under local control would provide better and more expedient service, said Dill. In recent years, state inspectors have had large jurisdictions, some covering up to 10 counties, resulting in delays and backlog. Other municipalities, including Wilder, Cold Springs and Alexandria, have joined in expanded jurisdiction agreements, said Dill.
"Clearly you can get better service with local agency and the county inspectors are certainly qualified. This is a neutral issue for us but we do feel projects in our community at the state level would have better service if we went through the county agency," he said, adding that there is recourse built into the agreement that would allow the city to use state resources if needed.