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Kenton County's New Government Home in Covington Lands First Possible Tenant

Kenton County's government may not be alone when it moves its offices to the historic Bavarian Brewery building in Covington.

Planning & Development Services of Kenton County (PDS) will explore options related to relocating from Ft. Mitchell to the Bavarian site. PDS board of directors voted last week to work with the Kenton County Fiscal Court on opportunities that could be realized by the move.

“This joint venture would result in more efficient and cost-effective services for all of Kenton County,” said Judge/Executive Kris Knochelmann. “PDS would co-locate with many of the agencies it serves already. This is an exciting development for the citizens we all serve.”

“Judge Knochelmann and members of Kenton Fiscal Court reached out to us after the first of the year, inviting us to join them in their new building,” said Tom Litzler, former Fort Wright mayor and chair of the PDS Management Board. “After receiving positive feedback from our council of elected officials, we authorized our legal counsel, Garry Edmondson, and executive director, Dennis Gordon, to work through the necessary details with (County Administrator) Joe Shriver.”

Kenton County opted to purchase the building last summer, as it was embroiled in a legal battle between the City of Covington and its previous owner, Columbia Sussex, which wanted to raze it. 

PDS is a special purpose governmental entity authorized by the Kentucky General Assembly in 1960. Its initial mission was to serve as staff for the numerous planning commissions that existed at that time.  A number of those bodies merged in 1966 to form the Kenton County Planning Commission, the citizen panel that provides long-range planning and zoning recommendations to each of the county’s 20 local governments.

Since those early days, the agency has grown to serve those 20 local governments through the provision of codes enforcement—building and electric codes, property maintenance codes, and nuisance codes.  It serves the Kenton County Planning Commission and the county’s 20 jurisdictions by administering the County’s Subdivision Regulations and inspecting infrastructure as it’s constructed in subdivisions.  And, it serves as managing partner of an acclaimed GIS system owned by PDS, the Fiscal Court, SD1, and the Northern Kentucky Water District.

“PDS is a service organization created to support the planning and development needs of all Kenton County governments,” stated Gordon. “This move will facilitate the provision of those services and help us save precious tax dollars by consolidating operations in a single facility.  The taxpayers are the winners following these decisions by Fiscal Court and PDS.”

The projected move-in date for the new campus is early 2019. Current agencies slated for the development include Fiscal Court, County Attorney’s Office, Sheriff’s Office, County Clerk’s Office, Property Valuation Administrator Office, and the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office. All of those entities currently share the Kenton County Administration Building on Court Street in Covungton with the Fiscal Court.

More information from the county on the project can be found here.

-Staff report

Photo: Bavarian Brewery building (RCN file)