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Kenton Co.: Police Chief to Retire; Big Road Project Moves Forward

The Kenton County Fiscal Court will apply to the Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana (OKI) Regional Council of Government for matching Federal SNK Funds for Phase II of the Bromley-Crescent Springs Road project. The County must pay for 20 percent of matching funds for the second phase which amounts to around $700,000 with the state paying the remaining 80 percent.

“As we're in this budget process this year, there's no question that there isn't $500,000 to $800,000 a year for SNK projects. It's just not there,” said Kenton County Judge/Executive Kris Knochelmann. “If we do this, it will have to come from the reserves of previous years and it's really a challenge.”

The Fiscal Court announced that it had received SNK funding from OKI for phase one in January. Phase one is currently in the preliminary design stage. Funding to pay for the County's commitment of 20 percent is expected to be taken from the County's reserves. There was discussion among the Fiscal Court members regarding the possibility of later rejecting the application if the Court determines in the future that the project has become too expensive and that it should spend the money elsewhere. That being said, Judge Knochelmann expressed his opinion that the project should not become simply one phase.

“It's one of those cases where now that we're all in on this project, in my mind, or at least part of it, is that either we do it now, or probably leave it forever,” Knochelmann said. “Because the possibility of having the first phase end where it ends, just doesn't makes sense. It's a road to nowhere. Looking at it, there aren't many negatives that if we are approved for it, we could then always turn it down.”

The plans of the project are to rebuild the road from Anderson Road in Crescent Springs to lower Amsterdam Road near Villa Hills. The original grant that Kenton County received in 2013 was $4.8 million for the whole project, with the County having to pay a total of $1.2 million. Since then, costs have gone over the $5 million cap that OKI sets for such projects which then caused the County to cut the first phase short of the original plan.

Kenton County County Public Works Supervisor Nick Hendrix said that a public hearing for phase one should be held some time in May.

The Fiscal Court also applied to the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet for reimbursement of the cost the County incurred to provide bus service for non-public school students. Kenton County contracts with numerous bus companies and then gets that money back from the state. This is a regular motion made annually by the Fiscal Court.

Kenton County Police Chief Brian Capps attended his last Fiscal Court meeting on Tuesday. He will retire on April 30. Chief Capps had worked for the County for nearly two decades and was praised by each member of the Fiscal Court.

“Thank you for the tremendous opportunity that I've had,” Chief Capps said to the Fiscal Court after delivering his usual report at the meeting. “For over 17 years, it's been a true blessing to serve the Kenton County citizens and work with some outstanding individuals in the police department. Not only are they great officers, there are just a lot of great people that work in that organization.

A request was approved by the Court to surplus Chief Capps' Glock 22 service weapon to him upon his retirement.

Adam Ryan was appointed as Kenton County Public Works Crewleader.

Ian Byrne was appointed Emergency Communications Dispatcher.

Written by Bryan Burke, associate editor