City of Ludlow Takes Legal Action to See How Youth Football Organization Spent Money
In the past, the City of Ludlow had donated $8,000 a year to Ludlow Youth Football in order to put on the organization’s summer fireworks festival where money is collected to pay for operational costs such as equipment, uniforms, league fees, and more for the season.
Earlier this year, it was decided that the city would no longer provide such funding after it was determined that such contributions to private organizations were not legal.
Instead, the city was going to put on its own festival around the same time that LYF would traditionally host its event, but that caused division in the community and ultimately the festival plans were scrapped.
In October, the City of Ludlow filed an open records request with LYF asking the organization to disclose its financial records so that the city could see what its funding went towards. After LYF failed to comply with that request, a second open records request was filed in November.
Now, the City of Ludlow has gone a step further, filing an injunction to see the books so that the city's accounting team can be better prepared for the next annual audit.
“They kind of left us no choice but to file for the injunction so that we can satisfy the needs of our accountant,” City Attorney Jeff Otis said at the City Council meeting on Thursday night. “It’s a very simple request, there’s nothing earth shattering about it. Since we are a municipal corporation we’re accountable to our citizens about where our money goes so our accountant wanted to see where our money was going and how it’s being used, especially since we have historically never recouped any of our moneys donated for the fireworks festival. It is my understanding that it raised a red flag for the accountant and since we have a state audit every year, if we can fill in every variable possible, that’s what they like to see for our audit. That’s all we are attempting to do.”
Under the law, LYF has 20 days to file a response. After the response, the city has proof of service, and Otis will file a motion to put it before the court to argue that LYF has to turn the items over.
Request for comment from LYF through two emails were not immediately returned.
“It’s really very simple: either they turn over copies of how they used our monies or if they don’t have it, they don’t have it, and they should put that in writing so we can address that with our accountant, it’s just that simple,” Otis said.
Ludlow Fire Chief Rob Dreyer said that even though the State of Kentucky only requires a certain percentage of personnel within a Fire Department to be certified, all 35 staff members of the LFD have completed their 150 hours of training needed to become certified Fire Fighters and Paramedics.
There were 101 mutual aid calls from the City of Covington, 75 of which the LFD was able to assist with. Dreyer said that there are more EMT runs than fire runs, and that when fire personnel is called upon, it’s typically to watch the Covington Firehouse while its firefighters respond elsewhere.
The Ludlow Fire Department received around $35,000 in grant money to purchase new extrication tools that will allow the LFD to cut cars in the event a person may be trapped inside of one after an accident. Dreyer said that the current machinery the department uses is 35 years old and won’t cut cars anymore.
Code Enforcement Officer Tom Gardener said that there are 45 vacant properties in Ludlow, one of which was discovered to be a drug house. Gardener has distributed six criminal activity notices to property owners at the request of the Ludlow Police Department, all of which the properties owners have addressed.
The criminal activity listed to take place at these residences include drug use and trafficking, prostitution and fighting.
The Ludlow Police Department intends to work closely with the Northern Kentucky Drug Strike Force to assist fighting drug crime in the city which will allow them to use the Strike Force’s equipment and resources.
The LPD has collected a stockpile of donated clothes for the homeless to help demonstrate to the community that the department cares about the city’s homeless community. Chief Scott Smith said that the clothing drive has been so successful that there is no room for further donations and thanked all of those who contributed.
Overall, calls to the police department were down 10 percent over the previous month which Smith credited toward the increased police visibility in the community as they have made their presence known with more patrols and other public showings.
City Councilman Tom Amann asked Smith about an increase in cars being broken into and the Chief reported that the department had caught a perpetrator they had suspected was behind the break ins and encouraged residents to make sure that they lock their car doors at night.
City Administrator Elishia Chamberlain said that quite a few businesses are looking to locate in the city and that developers are looking to purchase properties in Ludlow but did not mention any specifics.
The Ludlow Tavern plans to open for the first time on Saturday, December 12 from 4 p.m. - 1 a.m.
“It will be a great addition to our city and I encourage everyone to try and support the Ludlow Tavern,” Tom Amann said.
Written by Bryan Burke, associate editor