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Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Around the County: Alexandria City Council Holds Public Hearing on Property Tax Rate

The Alexandria City Council met on August 15. (photo: FTM file)

 By Robin Gee, City Council Beat Editor

Alexandria, Kentucky, city council members began their August 15 meeting with a public hearing on the fiscal year 2019-2020 property tax rate. As required by Kentucky law, the city must have a public hearing when the tax rate will bring in money that exceeds the four percent revenue rate maximum set by the state.

The request for a tax rate of .174 per $100 for this year is the same rate and request as that of the previous fiscal year, officials noted. The additional revenue raised, about $25,447, would go into the General Fund budget.

The public hearing was closed after noting that no citizens attended to address the tax rate issue. City Attorney Mike Duncan explained the public would still have additional time to petition to have the rate reduced if it passes and that will be publicized in the Campbell County Recorder.

This was the first reading of the proposed tax ordinance.

Fire Department Report

Alexandria Fire Chief Jeff Pohlman gave a report on the Fire Department as well in keeping with state requirements. He explained, because fire districts are considered special government entities, they must provide information about tax rates both online and through a report to the nearest municipality, which in this case if Alexandria.

The Fire District is proposing its tax rate to continue to be 18 cents per $100 (unchanged from last fiscal year).

"We were lucky to keep it at 18 cents," Chief Pohlman said. "It’s getting tougher with everything going on. We have some apparatus that is approaching 30 years old, and I don’t know if any of you have purchased a ladder truck lately, but those things cost about a million bucks a piece...But we do have a good capital plan."

He thanked the city for its partnership and support. He added that his department has applied for and is receiving grants to help offset the cost of purchasing equipment. He also noted that city’s designation as a Class 3 Insurance Service Office (ISO) rating may help save in insurance costs.

A tax hearing for the Fire Department will be held at the Alexandria Fire Station on Tuesday, August 27, at 7:15-7:30 p.m. and will be followed by a vote at the fire district board meeting. The station is located at 7951 Alexandria Pike.

Police Department Report

Alexandria Police Department Chief Lucas Cooper announced his department will be taking applications for officers and will hold a test soon for new recruits. Those interested should contact the department.

The chief also reminded everyone present that school will be open and school zones are now operational. He advised all to be on the lookout for students and school buses.

Business Retention and Development

Council member Kyle Sparks, chair of the Business Retention and Development Committee, said the committee is in the process of exploring a new website for the city. The committee has received a bid for the site from the Kentucky League of Cities. A second company may be interested in submitting a bid as well.

Sparks said the goal is to create a website that is easy to update and that will include a tab for new businesses to the area to have all the information they need. He said he wants to provide users with a "one stop shopping" experience with all city information easily accessible on the site.

The committee also is looking into signage for Alexandria on the AA Highway that could be offered to businesses along US 27. Sparks said he has been in touch with the Kentucky Department of Transportation for pricing.

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Deadline approaching for summer Beautification Award nominations

Council member Sue Neltner, chair of the Beautification Committee noted that nominations for the prettiest summer yard "Beautification Award" are still available until 2 p.m. on August 22. People can nominate their own yards or someone else’s within the city limits.

Contact a member of the Beautification Committee for a nomination form. Photos of the yard are helpful, she added. Those interested can contact Sue Neltner, Kyle Sparks or Tom Baldridge. The winner will be announced at the September 5 city council meeting.

Dog Park Revisited

Council members noted that Dog Day in the Park was a success this year with 73 dogs and their owners coming out to enjoy the day. Mayor Andy Schabell noted this brings back again the idea of a dog park for the community.

He said he has been in contact with someone who might be willing to donate fencing for the project, and he would like to gauge community support. Sam Trapp, superintendant of the city’s Public Works Department, said he investigated fencing and other costs. He estimated fencing with gates would cost about $15,000.

Discussion will continue at future council meetings. Council members are considering potential costs, the possibility of grants or donations and community support for the idea.

Notes on upcoming meetings and events

  • The Alexandria Fair Parade will be August 28 starting at 6:30 p.m. Washington Street will close that day at 6 p.m. Council members noted that throwing hard candy is prohibited this year.
  • The Parks and Recreation Committee will meet on Sept 4 in the park. This will be the last time this season they will meet at the Alexandria Community Park located at 3965 Alexandria Drive.
  • The next meeting of the Public Works Committee, scheduled for September 5, has been canceled. A special meeting of the Business Retention and Development Committee will fill the September 5 spot at 6 p.m. to look at website bids and other issues under discussion.
  • On September 8, at 2 p.m., the city will hold a September 11 memorial service in Tribute Park (at the corner of US 27 and West Main Street).
  • Movie in Park Night, has moved to Friday, Sept 20, in Alexandria Community Park. The movie showing at dusk will be "How to Train Your Dragon — Hidden World."

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