Citing RCN Interview, Campbell Commissioner Continues to Call for Chase Law to Stay
Campbell County Commissioner Charlie Coleman continued to express his ongoing dissatisfaction with the potential move of Chase Law School to Downtown Covington after hearing Northern Kentucky University President Geoffrey Mearns speak of the possibility in a podcast published by The River City News.
Coleman has repeatedly brought up the issue in Fiscal Court meetings over the past six months or so with particular concern that Kenton County is trying to lure the law school there without Campbell County putting up enough of a fight to keep the county asset where on NKU's campus.
“I know that the position of the other three members here is that it is something we don't need to worry about at this time,” Coleman said.
Campbell County Judge/Executive Steve Pendery has remained even-keeled on the issue and does not see the move as imminent.
“I would be very surprised if the legislature comes up with any money for something like that and I think it's something that's a long way into the future before that is a possibility,” he said. “My position is that I would be happy if the law school stays, but if the people offered a deal to Northern Kentucky University that it could not afford to refuse, I'm going to listen to that.”
The Northern Kentucky Consensus Committee has made millions of dollars in funding for the renovation of the Kenton County Administration Building a priority ask in Frankfort during the General Assembly session this year, with one opportunity being the departure of the county government from the premises to make way for Chase in Covington.
Coleman's research led him to believe that Campbell County would stand to lose about $20,000 in annual payroll tax if Chase left, but Pendery said that conversations he has had with Mearns reassure him that the school would make up that financial loss to the counties in other ways.
Commissioner Tom Lampe said that he recently had lunch with the Chairman of the Board of Regents Nathan Smith and that Lampe felt very comfortable with the conversation that took place at that meeting.
“The sky is not falling today and we are in touch with the right people in the University. We're not ignoring this, but we also don't think that we need to hit the panic button yet,” Lampe said.
Commissioner Brian Painter said that the County's air quality has improved thanks to the closure of the Beckjord Power Plant in nearby Clermont County in Ohio that allowed Campbell County to become reclassified to a sulfur dioxide attainment area. “Even though Beckjord was in Clermont County, their sulfur dioxide came over here to our air monotoring and we became the noncompliance county,” Painter said. “This has affected us over the years in terms of development and now that's all gone. This is a positive development for our air quality and our ability to attract industry that wouldn't be able to come here otherwise.”
Police officers Alex Turner and Doug Hope were sworn in to the Campbell County Police Department during the Campbell County Fiscal Court meeting on Wednesday night in Alexandria, where Turner became the first African-American to work for the Campbell County Police Force.
A portion of East Nagel Road will be closed along the south side of Peach Grove Road (Old KY 154), west of State Route 154 and east of US 27 in unincorporated Campbell County.
Written by Bryan Burke, associate editor