Ft. Wright Council Wants Further Exploration of Bypass, Needle Exchange; Endorses Concealed Carry at Schools
Fort Wright City Council voted on multiple resolutions related to bills before the Kentucky General Assembly on a busy Wednesday evening, placing votes while tabling others to future meetings. Topics ranging from the proposed Cincinnati Eastern Bypass to the proposed needle exchange/syringe access program were looked at by council.
Regarding the estimated $2.6 billion Brent Spent Bridge corridor project, council agreed that a feasibility study should take place for the Bypass because its construction would provide significant transportation and economic benefits to the city and region as a whole, members stated. Council said it wholeheartedly encourages Governor Matt Bevin to conduct said study this year.
Meanwhile, the syringe access/needle exchange program presented by the Northern Kentucky Health Department warranted further discussion, Mayor Dave Hatter and council agreed Wednesday. First responders face a threat of contaminated needles when arriving at a scene to take care of an overdose victim, Hatter said. Police chief Dan Kreinest added that many will have needles on their waistband, in their pocket and elsewhere which could be a significant danger, while Fire Chief Steve Schewe said many victims stockpile needles to use.
Council members agreed that while the proposed program isn’t fail-safe, and that it was worth further discussion at the next meeting.
Additionally, city council endorsed the passage of House Bill 221 by a 4-2 margin (Dave Abeln, Mike Hoerlein, Adam Feinauer, Bernie Wessels, yes; Scott Wall, Joe Averdick, no). The legislation would amend KRS 527.070, “to allow persons with valid concealed deadly weapons licenses or temporary permits to carry concealed weapons on public elementary and secondary school property; amend KRS 237.115 to allow persons with valid concealed deadly weapons licenses or temporary permits to carry concealed weapons on public post-secondary property, and in buildings controlled by state and local government, except courtrooms and detention facilities; amend KRS 237.110 to allow persons with valid concealed deadly weapons licenses or temporary permits to carry concealed weapons in meetings of the General Assembly, and to conform.”
On the state level, employees of the General Assembly will no longer be able to keep their retirement benefit information private if council had its say, supporting Senate Bill 45: Members voted in favor for the state House and Senate to amend KRS 61.661, 161.585, and 21.540, “to require the disclosure, upon request, of the retirement benefit information of current and former members of the General Assembly, including their name, status, and projected or actual retirement benefit payments and benefits of the same from Kentucky Retirement Systems, Kentucky Teachers’ Retirement System, Legislators’ Retirement Plan, and the Judicial Retirement Plan.”
A motion carried unanimously toward amending the city’s revised nuisance code, paving the way for a new three-person panel to hear cases, Councilman Feinauer said. Section 12 of the code states the city can step in with a case of “imminent danger,” which would constitute situations such as a dangling tree over a home, a house badly damaged by a tornado, etc. Depending upon the severity of the situation, a citizen is still allowed his/her due process for review. Feinauer concluded that it is imperative for “checks and balances” to remain part of the system.
The city is moving forward with its institutional zone text amendment to the zoning ordinance on the property of St. Agnes Church and Elementary School. Fans on the school’s athletic fields will see 12 3x5 signs lining the perimeter of the fields in the future.
Property near Frisch’s on Madison Pike has been purchased in addition to making the curb cut in the area permanent, City Administrator Gary Huff said. Burger King and Frisch’s will eventually gain a new neighbor on the now-empty plot of land that sits between the two establishments – Chick-fil-A.
Written by Jason Finnell, RCN contributor