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In Bellevue, Red Bike Gets OK for Second Station; New Arby's Moving Forward

Bellevue will soon have a second Red Bike station.

In a 4-2 vote on Wednesday, the city council approved the expenditure of up to $20,000 for the associated concrete work to place the second station near Ward Avenue. Bellevue's other Red Bike station is at Port Bellevue near Joe's Crab Shack. The Cincinnati-based nonprofit bike-sharing program arrived in Northern Kentucky in June with six stations in Covington, four in Newport, and now two in Bellevue.

TMS Concrete, the only company to make a bid according to City Administrator Keith Spoelker, will begin work soon. Mayor Ed Riehl said that the price may be lowered as negotiations continue and scope of the project is evaluated.

Councilmen David Slater and Rodney Poynter opposed the expenditure, continuing their vocal opposition to the Red Bike project.

Recently, Red Bike celebrated its 100,000th trip around Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky when a rider took a bike from Port Bellevue to the Banks in Cincinnati. After thirty days in Northern Kentucky, the bike-sharing program proved to be popular with thousands of rides taken.

Meanwhile, along Donnermeyer Drive, the Arby's construction continues. 

Restaurant Management Group, which owns the Bellevue location (pictured above), committed to structuring the new building within the guidelines of the city's form-based code after months of back-and-forth. Though the location is currently closed down as the new building is constructed and the old one is razed, it is expected to reopen in the spring.

Also on Wednesday, the city council voted to hire prominent law firm Taft, Testinius, and Hollister to explore the possibility of establishing a tax increment financing (TUF) district within the city. The issue was previously explored in August when local attorney and TIF expert James Parsons spoke to council about the possibilities.

Council approved the expenditure by a 5-1 vote with Councilman Poynter dissenting.

The city's annual property tax rate was set at .318 for each $100 of assessed value for real estate, and .327 of each $100 of assessed valuation of personal property. Slater and Poynter opposed the increase over last year's rate. Tax bills will be sent out in the coming days and will be due on November 1 and will become delinquent on December 1.

The city also approved the creation of the Energy Project Assessment District (EPAD), making it the second city in Kentucky to create such a district based on newly enacted legislation. Covington was the first to implement the program that benefits commercial projects like the Marianne Theater (which will soon become a brewery) by offering developers the opportunity to finance energy efficiency and renewable energy improvements through energy savings. The district was adopted by a 5-1 vote with Poynter dissenting.

One police vehicle was authorized for purchase. The city will finance the $29,496 through Citizens Bank for 36 months at 3.78% interest. The vehicle will be purchased from Crossroads Ford in Frankfort. Councilman Matt Olliges opposed the purchase, which was approved by a vote of 5-1. 

The Bellevue Police Department promoted Officers Jon McClain and Mike Taylor to sergeant.

-Michael Monks, editor & publisher