|The city Law, Labor and License Committee met before the September 20 council meeting to consider a proposed change to the golf cart ordinance but decided not to recommend at this time. L to R: Connie Grubbs, Adam Blau, Jeff Bezold and CAO Ron Dill.|
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by Robin Gee, city council beat editor
Fort Thomas City Council met for a second meeting this month on September 20, designed primarily to provide a second reading in September for the proposed tax rate for Fiscal Year 2021-22.
Council passed the rate, which has not changed since 2019. It remains at $3.97 per $1,000 of valuation. Since this is not a year in which all properties are assessed unless there is a sale, most property owners can expect to pay the same as last year.
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At the last council meeting, Mayor Eric Haas said the decision to keep the rate steady was made to provide some relief for homeowners affected by the pandemic economy.
The only other order of business was a second reading of the ordinance to update an older ordinance outlining the rules for chair and table placements for outdoor dining.
Both ordinances passed.
RELATED: Fort Thomas Council Holds Tax Rate Steady, Updates on City Projects
The golf cart question
It was expected that council might see a first reading of an amendment to the city’s golf cart ordinance passed in 2019. The Law, Labor and License Committee, which includes Connie Grubbs (chair), Ben Pendery and Ken Bowman, discussed the proposal to lower the driving age for the golf carts from 19 to 16 at their last meeting and decided to table it to give them more time to research the issue and speak with residents.
RELATED: Fort Thomas Council Committee Tables Golf Cart Amendment for Further Review
The committee met again just before the council meeting and decided not to recommend the item at this time. Yet, it was clear from their discussion they plan to revisit the issue.
Since their last meeting, the committee members spoke with community members and school officials, and reported a mixed response. Because there were still safety concerns and some hesitancy, the committee decided to put the issue aside for now.
Council member Pendery suggested they might consider a compromise position on the subject, perhaps permitting a 16-year-old to drive but under certain conditions, such as with a parent or older individual.
The mayor agreed and suggested other possible conditions such as grade point average and driving record.
Pendery also suggested they revisit the issue before next summer so that, if it passes, those affected would have the opportunity to enjoy the warmer driving season.