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Ft. Mitchell: Closer to Finding Shirt Mask Bandit, Improvements Coming to 75 Off Ramp

Fort Mitchell city council gave the go-ahead for improvements to be made on the northbound Interstate 75 off ramp on Buttermilk Pike, in addition to Royal Drive leading to the Chamber Center complex. Jim Parsons of Taft Stettinius & Hollister said they are not taking any development away from the properties, only making “simple capital improvements” to the area. “There are some capital improvements needed for the road there to connect in and that’s the only changes we are making to the development,” he said.

Also on Monday evening, an ordinance was passed setting property tax rates for the city, in addition to expenses paying police and fire protection, city employee salaries and general government costs. Mayor Jude Hehman pointed out the city’s tax rates are some of the lowest in the region. “As you can see, we are almost at the bottom. Villa Hills and Crestview Hills only had a lower rate of all the other cities,” he said.

“We paid for this building and that was a fiscal responsible council… At some point, council will have to continue to look at how expenses are going up for city employees and certain things. Hopefully, next year I’m not asking for a rate increase but at some point councils are asked to do that. Fortunately, this year I don’t think it’s necessary to do.”

Other Notes:

The city’s waste collection rate was set for $177.60 per unit for two, three and four-unit residences and residential units.

Fire Chief Scott McVey retired from the department after 28 years of service to Fort Mitchell but will remain involved in city activities when able, the mayor said. Assistant Chief Chuck Dietz told council Truck 10 has been out of commission for three weeks because of a transmission issue, causing a failed a road test and placing the truck back in the repair shop. 

The new city building will officially be dedicated on September 26. “We are sending invitations to past members of council and are hoping for the entire community to come,” Hehman said, hopeful that council could form a committee to help plan for the event.

Parks Director Kyle Bennett discussed the baseball and pavilion lotteries with Fort Mitchell Park – each a key topic within city residents’ discussion points. The pavilion – open April-October – is a popular rental spot with residents and received over 80 inquires to do so. Furthermore, the park’s baseball field is a popular diamond for local knothole teams, practicing Monday-Friday evening, in addition to Sunday, the exception being Wednesday evening when Blessed Sacrament’s team takes the field. The soccer field is also heavily used within the community but is shut down for maintenance from June until the beginning of August when Blessed Sacrament’s booster’s soccer program begins play again for the fall. But, the hot-button issue surrounding the park is what will eventually become of the existing green space once occupied by the caretaker house? “The Park Board, over the next couple months will be making a determination of what we want to do,” Bennett said.

Sergeant Matt Robinson told council the now widely-known serial robber Shirt Mask Bandit is closer to being caught and the city has stepped up bike and foot patrols in an effort to be more visible. Robinson added that the department is in initial discussions to hold its cookout for the community which ideally would take place the beginning of September.

Written by Jason Finnell, RCN contributor