Bellevue Hopes to Cash In on All Star Game with Red Bike, Food Trucks, Short Leases
When Major League Baseball's All-Star Game rolls into Cincinnati for a week of family fun, Bellevue hopes to be ready to capitalize on the exposure.
The city already has its summer concert series scheduled for that July weekend, and on Wednesday the city council approved the use of food trucks in commercial zones and short-term leasing that would allow units in the city to be rented out for periods of fewer than thirty days.
Bellevue also hopes to speed up its chances of landing at least one station for Red Bike, the bike-sharing program that is already in Cincinnati and scouting locations in Northern Kentucky's urban cities. Assistant City Administrator Jody Robinson said that a spot at the Port of Bellevue near the Newport border would be a likely first candidate, though other locations are being explored, including at Ward Avenue with its wide-enough sidewalks at Fairfield Avenue, and Donnermeyer Drive.
(SEE PREVIOUSLY: Map: Where Red Bike Stations Could Be Located in Northern Kentucky)
The challenge is that each Red Bike station costs approximately $50,000. Robinson said that Southbank Partners will kick in $20,000 to each of the River Cities' efforts to place a station but the rest will have to be made up. Councilman Matt Olliges suggested that gap possibly be filled as the city considers its next fiscal year budget. "People are going to come to Bellevue," Olliges said. "If we can get it by the All-Star break, that would be huge."
Robinson and Councilman Ryan Salzman agreed that the All-Star game presents an opportunity as well as a deadline of sorts to shoot for having a bike station in place. Olliges argued that the station should be further in the city. "Our best bet would be to bring people into the city rather than to the edge of Newport," he said. "That's our argument: we're not that far away."
(SEE PREVIOUSLY: Bike Sharing Program in Cincinnati Eyes Northern Kentucky)
Councilman David Slater was concerned about congestion along Fairfield Avenue and the impact that would have on cyclists' safety but Salzman countered that he expects Red Bike and cycling in general would have a positive impact. "It should decrease congestion and increase awareness of pedestrians," Salzman said. "As far as public safety, it should improve it."
The City may consider adding permission for food trucks to operate at Bellevue Beach Park. Councilman Rodney Poynter voted against the zoning changes that allow food trucks and short-term leases because he said he was uncomfortable with restricting mobile dining to commercial areas and leaving exceptions to the discretion of the zoning administrator.
The zoning changes were approved 5-1.
Other notes from Wednesday's meeting
City hires new zoning administrator
Scott Enns will bring 25 years of experience to the position vacated by John Yung who took a job in Yellow Springs, Ohio. Enns holds a master's degree in community planning from the University of Cincinnati where he later worked on the early stages of the developments popping up around the campus. He also served as a senior planner at the City of Cincinnati. He said that he is excited for the opportunities that Bellevue presents, particularly, "a couple of areas that have potential for new development that could increase the tax and population base".
- The city's annual audit showed a positive trajectory and solid cash flow
- City Administrator Keith Spoelker said that Sanitation District 1 is faced with repairing a collapsed pipe near the Taylor Creek culvert project and the utility hopes to have it addressed by the All-Star game but cannot begin until June. "They are aware we're having an All-Star game in the city and that's a road that will be impacted," Spoelker said. He said the project would likely take two to three months to complete.
- The City continues to meet with its legal counsel over the lawsuit against it and its counter-suit against the Ackerman Group, stemming from a dispute over the Harbor Greene development
- Bellevue will be featured on a Saturday episode of Kentucky Life on KET
- The Catalytic Fund was expected to present its request for proposals for the Marianne Theater on Thursday, which would then be posted for potential developers to evaluate
Written by Michael Monks, editor & publisher of The River City News