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Street Light Project in Taylor Mill to Cost More than Expected

The issue most discussed at the Taylor Mill City Commission meeting on Wednesday was that of the lack of traffic lights at various points in the city, specifically Taylor Creek subdivision. 

On Tuesday, a Taylor Creek resident anonymously contacted The River City News to raise concerns that a group living there was dismayed by what they thought was a lack of effort made by the city to install traffic-control devices at where Taylor Creek meets Pride Parkway (KY 16). 

Taylor Mill Mayor Dan Bell and City Administrator Jill Bailey said that the mayor has been in contact with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet numerous times and that significant efforts have been made by the city to address what it sees as a concern, too.

“From my perspective, the city has focused very heavily, believe it or not, on Vincent Drive, Wayman Branch, Lakewood, and Taylor Creek. We’ve discussed with the state about traffic control on the new road. We saw 12 to 15 months ago that this was going to be an issue. My mind tells me that we’re not going to get four stop lights, but strategically, we can work to get some stop lights in some locations and hopefully Taylor Creek will be in that category,” Mayor Bell said.

Because KY 16 is a state road, all decisions of any changes made to the corridor have to be approved by the Commonwealth, which limits the city’s influence in the decisions made pertaining to the road.

“This is a state road, they’re going to do what they want to do, and when we get the results of their studies, we will do everything we can,” said Commissioner Dan Murray. “None of us up here wants to see an accident, but the state designed that road for a certain speed and the engineers are the professionals, and they aren’t going to do anything until they can study the road.”

Taylor Mill Police Chief Steve Knauf said that the city has done some studies of its own and will continue to do so as the school year gets closer. He said that the police department intends to increase its presence on KY 16 to discourage excessive speeds. 

“What I also want to do is put our traffic data machine on that end and get a true traffic count of what kind of volume we have there, and after that we will put up flashing alert signs which will educate drivers of what their speed is, and then after that, we will do some enforcement. However, there is nothing that says we can’t put some officers down there and start writing some courtesy notes, but I don’t like going out and writing tickets unless we have a true safety issue where we identify that speed is a problem.  Of course, we’re willing to do that, but I want to get more raw data before we do that,” Knauf said.

Bell said that he will continue to make any effort he can to help the decision made by the state to be a favorable one to Taylor Mill residents, including those of the Taylor Creek subdivision.

“We’re into this, we’ve been into this, and I can’t tell you how many times that I have talked about this in the last 15 months. It’s been a lot. It’s based on data, and Frankfort is going to get the data and then decide. It won’t be the Taylor Mill City Commission’s decision, though we will do whatever we can to influence that decision,” the mayor said.  

Street lights were also a topic of conversation at the meeting on Wednesday. Due to changes of the specifications and requirements of roadside street lights, the cost of the project to install new lights along Pride Parkway have more than doubled. 

The city had to change the type of poles it had specified so that light could reach beyond the mast arm traffic signals and light the various intersections. 

“We allocated $150,000 because that’s where we thought we were in the market for when we traveled down this road. Since then, all the lighting parameters and specifications have changed and we are required to light the road in a different capacity than we were previously and we had to add more light fixtures. The system itself has come out to be closer to $500,000, so we are a little short,” Bailey said. “We will have to budget for that. I’m in the process of reviewing the project with the engineering staff and the lighting consultant to see where we can scale that project back and get it more in the budget. If not, we’re going to have to reevaluate financially where we’re going to be able to pull those resources from and be able to complete that project.”

As a selected All-Star Community in preparation of the Major League Baseball All-Star Game July 14 in Cincinnati, Taylor Mill will have its second All-Star event on game day where county artist Dan Varner will perform, fireworks will be launched, and the game will be broadcast on a 9'x12' screen at Pride Park from 5 - 11 p.m.

Written by Bryan Burke, associate editor