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Monday, August 26, 2019

City Council Roundup: Parade Winners Announced, Street Project Updates

Mayor Eric Haas congratulates Chuck Keller representing the Fort Thomas Forest Conservancy. Keller accepted the first place award for Best Representation of the Fourth of July Parade Theme.

By Robin Gee, City Council Beat Editor

"The Art of Kindness" was the theme for this year’s Fort Thomas Fourth of July Parade, and the winners of the various entries in the parade reflected a broad range of community members and businesses that take the theme to heart.

At the August meeting of the Fort Thomas City Council, Mayor Eric Haas announced the winners for parade entries in three categories. Here are more of the winners and those who were on hand to accept the awards.

The Veterinary Medical Center of Fort Thomas accepted the second place award for Best Representation of the Theme.

The Chicks and Chucks, Inc., team picked up third place for Best Representation of the Theme.

Tom Rechtin Heating & Air took first place for Most Original contribution to the parade.

Second place for Most Original entry in the parade went to the United States Submarine Veterans.

Campbell County Land Search and Rescue took third place for Most Original parade entry.
Members of the Lawn Chair Brigade Jerry Noran and Marty Malloy, from the Highland United Methodist Church, earned first place for Most Entertaining performance in the parade.
Members of the Ewald family (Stephanie and Rose) accepted the award for Dance Realm, which took second place for Most Entertaining.

As a former member of the band, Mayor Eric Haas accepted the award for third place in the Most Entertaining category for the Highlands High School Marching Band.


Parade organizers present honors and share thanks

Linda Slone and Jim Trauth, coordinators of this year's Fourth of July parade, took the opportunity during the council meeting to congratulate the winners and to thank all involved in the parade.

“Our Grand Marshall this year was Sara Hamel. And we wanted to honored others as well this year. The honorees were Bert and Dee Bathiany, Dan and Flo Grey, Rita Walters, Betsy Evans and Lee Cordray. Everyone of these people have done lots for the city for a long time, so we decided to honor them all," said Slone.

She read off a list of many people across Fort Thomas whose help with the parade was vital. The list included Jim Trauth, Lonnie Slone, Gary Schwalbach, Marty Meyer, Kym Grillot, Guy Ponzer, David Thiel, Fred Otto, the Highland United Methodist Church, the city of Fort Thomas, parade judges, city officials, division leaders and all the honorees, participants and attendees that helped make this year’s parade a success.

The mayor in turn thanked Slone and Truath for all their work and said "We are truly blessed in Fort Thomas. This is a great city. Everyone loves being here, and the Fourth of July Parade shows what we have as a community."

Police Department report

In addition to the promotions of two officers, Sergeant Derek Faught and Lieutenant William Hunt, Fort Thomas Police Chief Casey Kilgore shared the news that this year's CSI Camp was a success.

The camp had been on hiatus but due to increased interest the department brought it back this summer, he said. Students in grades six through eight were introduced to investigative tactics and tools, such as DNA and evidence handling, over the course of a week.

He also noted a thank you letter from a group of area women who received defensive tactics training.

RELATED: Fort Thomas Police Share Proud Moment in Promoting Two Officers 

Update on city projects


City Administrator Ron Dill announced the news that planned installation of rapid flashing beacons at area crosswalks is complete. The safety devices installed at St. Thomas and Highlands Middle School joined two others at Highlands High School and Moyer Elementary, all part of a citywide Pedestrian Safety Initiative.

Education on how to use the devices, as well as safety information, has been ongoing and will continue through the efforts of the Fort Thomas Independent School District, school crossing guards and School Resource Officer Zac Rohlfer. The district developed a pedestrian safety video last spring that instructs both pedestrians and drivers in using the crosswalks effectively and being safe.

Dill also shared an update on the Shelter Three Project in Tower Park. The shelter and an accompanying restroom facility are out on bid. Bids should be available for council at the September meeting. The plan of the shelter and for other improvements, such as a resurfacing of the tennis courts, is to have all work done by spring 2020.

Federal grant money for the North Fort Thomas Avenue sidewalk project is expected to be released soon. The city of Dayton also will receive a grant for the part of the roadway that connects up to the incorporation line. With a project on another part of that road in Dayton, the three pieces will create a continuous improvement between both cities, Dill said. The hope is to have the money available so work can be done by next construction season.

Law, Labor and License notes

David Cameron, chair of the Law, Labor and License committee, brought council up to date on the committee's discussion about the possibility of golf carts within the city. Kentucky law allows for the carts, he said. Cities cannot lessen restrictions set forth by the legislature but they can make rules for golf cart operation more stringent.

The committee is discussing safety issues, and Cameron shared an idea put forward by committee member Mark Collier to look at how the carts might fit into a plan for more walkability throughout the city. A draft ordinance for the golf carts should be ready for a first reading next month.

The Law, Labor and License committee will take up an important request made by community members at the council meeting. A formal request was made for the city to adopt a Fairness Ordinance to ensure against discrimination of LGBTQ people.

RELATED: Residents Ask Fort Thomas to Consider Fairness Ordinance 

More city business

The city council passed a two-year service renewal agreement with Rumpke. The contract covers recycling and solid waste pickup. Charges for collection will be $167 per year for property owners. That is $3.20 per week.

Council also passed adoption and participation in the Campbell County Emergency Operations Plan.

A request was accepted by the council for the police department to apply to the Kentucky Office of Homeland Security for a grant for body armor.


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