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Attorney: Proposed UDF in Taylor Mill Will Happen

The longstanding battle waged by the owners of a piece of land in Taylor Mill where a United Dairy Farmers (UDF) is proposed, returned to the city commission meeting on Wednesday.

Attorney Mike Schulkens introduced himself to Taylor Mill leaders as the new legal representative for Phil and Laurie Peace, owners of a parcel of land on Pride Parkway where they have attempted to have a UDF gas station and convenience store developed. 

Schulkens said Wednesday that he would be working with the Peaces and the city to see the project come to fruition, no matter what the hurdles or objections. He said that he had come out of retirement to work on the project, and though he realizes the complications associated with the property - such as its proximity to state-owned property that would be needed - he argued that starting a plan now would be beneficial to the proposal so that when the state releases the property they could have a plan in place.

City Commissioner Ed Kuehne said he was glad that Schulkens mentioned that the property was landlocked by state property, saying that a lot of people are unfamiliar with some of the property's challenges and argued that the Peaces' property is not free and clear for development. The state owns the perimeter because it is excess property from when the Kentucky 16 was widened and Pride Parkway was created. Kuehne said it could take up to two years for the state to release the property.

Mayor Dan Bell told Schulkens that the city is already working on constructing a service road that parallels Pride Parkway.

“I’m doing the street, because the city will be taking it over,” said Bell. “Once the process is completed, we will let you know and we can go from there.”

Schulkens said that he has worked on other challenged developments in other cities like Newport and Cold Spring, and managed to see them through.

“Just so you understand," Kuehne said, "it may take two, three, four, or five years before we get it done.  Let’s do it right the first time.”

The UDF proposal has been a consistent presence in city commission meetings and in the traditional and social media. That will likely continue. It was learned this week that Phil Peace is now a candidate for Taylor Mill city commission in November's election.

Other notes:

Margaret Freeman came to the commission in desperation. She told the city that Vincent Drive, where she lives, has standing water all the time, and it has been worse since the new street went in. City Administrator Jill Bailey said that city engineer Mark Bruggemann would have to go and look at it so that he can determine where the water is coming from. Freeman said there is so much water that now there is a serious problem with mosquitoes, and she is worried about the Zika virus. 

Mary Gregory came to the commission to ask what could be done about her street, Hightop Court, because she says that mud is coming up through the holes in the road. JBailey said that the municipal road aid fund from the state was accepted by a vote on Wednesday and that the $130,000 will be used to repair streets. She told Gregory the city will hold a public hearing to decide on which streets will receive the repairs. She said the city engineer will study the streets and line them up according to need, and the city would fix as many streets as it can can with the money. Every year the city spends about $250,000 on road repair, Bailey said. Hightop was listed as an alternative last year but there was enough funding to fix it.

Scott Smith came from Maple Ridge, saying construction vehicles were still coming down his street and tearing it up. He told the city that there is a huge hole in the road, and it was becoming a danger. Public Works director Marc Roden said he would take a look at it.

Commissioners were united in their praise of how the Vietnam Wall weekend went, particularly singling out Lou Driever, a resident who helped a lot with the activities that went on during the five days. In addition to Driever, about 180 volunteers were involved, and the project was pronounced a great success.

Written by Patricia A. Scheyer, RCN contributor