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Thursday, June 25, 2020

Alexandria Village Green TANK Stop Saved From Cuts

Alexandria will keep one its bus stop at Village Green, one of the two city stops that had been on the chopping block in the recent TANK bus system redesign.

By Robin Gee, city council beat editor

Alexandria city council met June 18 to discuss the fiscal year '20-'21 budget, responses and planning around the COVID-19 pandemic and other city business, but it was the Transit Authority of Northern Kentucky (TANK) decision not to cut one of the city’s only two bus stops that was a highlight of discussion.

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As a part of a complete overhaul of the bus system, TANK had proposed elimination of Alexandria’s two bus stops, one at a park and ride at 9000 Alexandria Pike and the other at the Village Green Shopping Center. TANK proposed cutting service of the 25 and 25X to Alexandria altogether, reworking the routes to stop short of the city. The nearest stop would then be at the Meijer store in Cold Spring.

Mayor Andy Schabell, as well as community members and city officials, met with TANK on several occasions, attending public forums and private meetings with TANK General Manager Andrew Aiello to plead their case.

City officials argued that the city was named the fastest growing city in the county in 2018, and plans were underway for new housing developments. They also pointed out that the stop was the only one for employees who work for the nearby Walmart and other area businesses.

The second argument may have been key, as final results of the TANK plan show a focus on employment centers. Other Campbell County cities, including Fort Thomas, did lose bus service in the final TANK plan.

RELATED: Alexandria Officials Voice Strong Concern About Potential Loss of TANK Routes

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City budget and other city business

City officials briefly reviewed and approved a first reading of an ordinance adopting a budget for Fiscal Year ’20-’21, but there was little discussion. A second reading is planned but a date was not set.

The city is eligible for the federal CARES act reimbursement for expenses incured in dealing with issues of the CORONA-19 virus. Council approved a resolution authorizing the mayor to apply for the funds on behalf of the city.

Schabell will ask for $55,000, which will cover the city’s small business grant program. Eligible area businesses were invited to apply for the grant to help support them during the pandemic. Twenty-two small businesses applied and all received funds from the city’s program.

In other news related to the pandemic, the city’s long running and popular craft show had been postponed but will now be virtual. The city is working on a plan to provide crafters an opportunity to share information about their items so that they can reach buyers.

No crafter or vendor fees will be charged, but they plan to launch a site where customers can view and purchase from their favorite crafters. Information on the event should be available on the Alexandria city website or Alexandria city Facebook page soon.

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