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Kenton County to Put New Roof on Emergency Shelter, Discusses Duplicated Anti-Heroin Efforts

The Kenton County Fiscal Court approved budget adjustments for the current fiscal year, which included $28,000 for a new roof at the Emergency Shelter of Northern Kentucky at 634 Scott Street in Covington.  
 
At Monday night's meeting in Covington, Treasurer Roy Cox reported on a resolution to approve the budget adjustments and Judge/Executive Kris Knochelmann explained a little about the roof project.
 
"We just want to make sure we have a safe environment," he said. "I went up there and it was a mess. We will be doing away with the skylights."
 
A question was raised about why the county was going to put on a new roof when the shelter people were looking for a new place for the cold shelter, and Knochelmann said at least there would be a dry building for whoever takes over the building. Commissioners approved the resolution.
 
The building was expected to be part of the Gateway Community & Technical College urban metro campus in downtown Covington, but those plans are being scaled back and a new location for the shelter has not been found.
 
Commissioner Jon Draud spoke up about what he perceives as duplication of effort on the subject of the heroin epidemic. He wanted to know if anything was being done to provide a more centralized approach.
 
Judge Knochelmann said that he believed the problem was going to get worse before it got better, but said the fiscal court should have actual numbers of how the newly implemented heroin hotline is working by next month, which will be helpful. He also said there is a search for a project manager which might help the duplication problem. Knochelmann said that although Kentucky is well behind Ohio in the efforts to make Medicaid a way to provide short and long term treatment, Governor Matt Bevin is working aggressively on the problem, and Knochelmann expects some good news shortly.  
 
Knochelmann explained that the jail treatment program is doing well, and it is almost better for addicts to be arrested so they can have a chance for detox and treatment.
 
Another resolution passed authorizing an application to the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet for matching federal funds for a sidewalk project on Amsterdam Road. This is the same application that was submitted last year, but the funds did not come through so the county is trying again this year. The project is for a sidewalk along the south side of Short Amsterdam from Bromley-Crescent Springs Road to Highwater Road. The matching 20 percent of funds would be split with the Cities of Crescent Springs and Villa Hills, and Kenton County.  
 
Nick Hendrix, public works director, told the fiscal court that the county's contribution would amount to approximately $59,000, because the cost of the project has gone up by about $6,700.
 
Rob Zieglar, an attorney who works with the Greater Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG), gave a summary of the Customer Facility Charge which was approved by the Kenton County Airport Board. He said the fee was raised from $4.50 to $6 and will be assessed for the rental cars, so the rental car fee will now be more expensive. Commissioner Jon Draud reminded everyone that he had heard complaints about CVG increasing fees, and was told that there have been some meetings about the subject, as well as about improving communication.
 
An executive order was passed which approved the promotion of Jason Fields to sergeant at the Kenton County Police Department, effective September 26. Fields was sworn in by Judge Knochelmann with Chief Spike Jones on hand to present him with his badge.
 
The first reading of an ordinance issuing Tax Exempt bonds for a multi-unit housing program for veterans was heard.
 
An executive order approving an order of affiliation between the Kenton County Fiscal Court and the Northern Kentucky Technical Rescue team was approved. Another executive order approved the hiring of Jenna Saucedo as a full-time animal control officer effective October 3.
 
Knochelmann also gave a shout out to Sheriff Chuck Korzenborn who was recently inducted into the Kentucky Veterans Hall of Fame, and Commissioner Draud said Jack Aynes, who played ball with him, was also inducted.
 
Written by Patricia A. Scheyer, RCN contributor
Photos: Jason Fields was sworn in as Sergeant with the Kenton County Police