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Campbell Co.: Resolution Changed to Accommodate Tea Party; Retirement Campus Moves Forward

At the Campbell County Fiscal Court meeting in Newport on Wednesday, a resolution was passed requesting that the Kentucky Economic Development and Finance Authority provide for the issuance of revenue bonds of approximately $70 million in support of the Baptist Convalescent Center, Inc. project in Alexandria.

Dr. Robert Long of the Baptist Life Community organization explained that approximately $50 million will be used on capital construction projects in Alexandria on a new long-term retirement campus that will replace the existing campus in Newport. The remaining $20 million is to refinance the existing debt that the organization has and operational costs.

The new facility will feature 117 beds, including 66 personal care beds, on a new campus that will be later expanded even further.

“We’re very, very excited about the state-of-the-art features and the opportunity to bring something to Northern Kentucky that will create a one-of-a-kind opportunity for our senior adults,” Long said.

The bonds are issued by the State, and are not an obligation of the Fiscal Court and do not affect the county’s bond ration or debt capacity.

At the last meeting, the Fiscal Court presented a resolution specifying the guidelines of public use of Fiscal Court facilities in the Alexandria Courthouse and the County Administration Building in Newport. The matter was tabled, however, after the resolution’s language read that no fundraising could take place in Fiscal Court facilities. The spirit of the resolution was to prohibit political candidates from raising money in publicly-owned government facilities, but Commissioner Charlie Coleman was concerned the language would also prohibit the Tea Party groups that meet in the facilities on a monthly basis and raise money to pay for things like new tires on the vehicle for the organization’s float that it uses in parades.

With this concern raised, the issue was pushed to the meeting on Wednesday which was passed after some conversation.

The language now reads that money raised must go to a bonafide charity, which County Attorney Steve Franzen said meant any filed nonprofit entity.  

“Regardless of how we word this, I’m sure that we can analyze it to the point where it is going to mean different things to different people,” Franzen said. “I certainly did not intend it to exclude the existing users of the facility.”

With that explanation, Coleman appeared satisfied and voted, along with the Commissioners Brian Painter and Tom Lampe, to approve the resolution.

Other notes:

  • Campbell County Police recruits Carl Harris and Amanda Bray were sworn in.   
  • Bill St. Pierre of the Kentucky Native American Commission was granted a resolution to define “American Indian” for purposes of official business in Campbell County. St. Pierre said that American Indians have lived in the area of what is now Kentucky for over 12,000 years and that there are over 1,300 people in Boone, Campbell and Kenton Counties that self-identify as American Indian.

Written by Bryan Burke, associate editor