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Friday, February 7, 2020

Wilder Celebrates Grant, Development Plans Continue as Work Begins

Wilder City Administrator Terry Vance and Mayor Robert Arnold hold the presentation "check" for the $250,000 state Land and Water Conservation Fund grant. The event was held at New Riff Distillery.

By Robin Gee, city council beat editor

Wilder Mayor Robert Arnold and city council took the opportunity to thank and congratulate City Administrator Terry Vance and other city staff who worked to bring about the recent state grant that will help in the construction of a planned amphitheater.

"As a city, when we have victories like this we celebrate together...We are 'Team Wilder,' and it was a credit to everyone in the community that we secured this $250,000 grant," said Arnold. "As mayor, it was nice to be the one to receive the check and shake the hands, but I think it’s a tribute to all the hard work that goes on here in the city. Congratulations to all of us!"

Wilder Mayor Robert Arnold, council members, city staff and first responders pose with the Kentucky state grant "check" and a rendering of the proposed city amphitheater.

RELATED: Governor Beshear Presents $500K to Wilder, Dayton, Covington and Bromley

The amphitheater is one of several projects underway that is part of the city’s overall City Center Master Plan. Complementary work has been ongoing for the new firehouse as well.

After presenting three options for the city center development in January, Vance has a meeting scheduled on February 12 with Kentucky Transportation Cabinet officials to request reopening of some older right of ways. Depending on the success of the meeting, options may open up for moving forward with various aspects of the development plans.

Meanwhile, he said, an engineering consultant is preparing to do geotechnical borings in support of the amphitheater and for work leveling another piece of property. The second property is not covered by the grant but is part of the economic development plan. By combining the two projects, he said, he may be able to save the city some money. Next up will be design work for the terraced seating levels leading to the amphitheater.

RELATED: Wilder Officials Present Options for City Center Plan

Additional City News

A development plan has been submitted for a new Fairfield Inn and Suites (a Marriott company) to be built on a site next to the Holiday Inn and Suites on 8 Hampton Lane. The building will be siimilar in size to the Holiday Inn, 94 rooms and four stories. The plan is set to go before Wilder Planning and Zoning on February 24. If approved, construction would likely start this spring, said Vance.

City council approved an agreement with Duke Energy on a lighting package for the city park and the new firehouse. The deal would involve the city taking care of the conduits for the lighting, but Duke would provide the lights and handle the maintenance. By eliminating some of the proposed lights in the interior of the park, Vance said the price tag for lighting has come down from $219,000 to about $123,000. The interior lights were not needed, he said, because the park interior will be closed at night.

Vance also reported SD1 is hiring a consultant to do a study of the flooding from Three-Mile Creek. Solutions to the problems upstream will have a significant impact on the city, he said.

Visit From a Candidate

The city also welcomed Rachel Roberts, Democratic candidate for the special election in District 67. She addressed council to introduce herself, but also to remind citizens of the election coming up February 25. She is concerned about changes in polling locations in the district.

"We will be lucky if 1,500 people vote in this election, because people just don’t know...Anyone you know who lives in a precinct that voted at a school, let them know that is no longer true...There is confusion because the board of elections has not done a very good job of spreading the word. The simple message is, if people voted at a school, they don’t any more, and they need to check their election location."

She went on to introduce herself as a Newport resident and business owner, emphasizing the sense of service in her family background. Then she asked Wilder residents for their help.

"I know Newport very well, but I don’t know Wilder as well. When I win this seat, I need you to hold me accountable, but I also need for you to keep me informed. So whatever is important to you, please know I will always take your phone call and I need you to help me keep as informed and productive for us in District 67 as I can possibly be..."

Roberts will go up against Republican Mary Jo Wedding in the special election. Again, the election is February 25, to fill the Kentucky House seat for District 67 recently vacated by Dennis Keene who took a position in Governor Beshear’s administration.

Polling locations have been consolidated. Residents whose polls have changed should receive a postcard in the mail, but you can check the Special Election Info list on the Campbell County Clerk website.

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