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Ft. Wright Lauded for Lack of Long-Term Debt; City May Pursue Weight Limits After Truck Crash

Fort Wright stands alone from many of its counterparts, Jim Sparrow of CPA firm Rankin, Rankin & Company said in regards to the city’s annual audit report he presented to city council on Wednesday evening.

“I’m not sure there is any other city in Northern Kentucky that has no long-term debt,” he remarked, adding that the city has money available for future care of its streets, sidewalks, and general infrastructure. “You have a balance to be able to take care of those needs,” Sparrow said.

So where does some of the surplus come from? An increase in fees and licensing permits, the city’s insurance premium and payroll taxes, and lastly, reimbursements it has received from Sanitation District 1 resulting from the city's participation in the street repair program.

Also Wednesday, council approved a text amendment to add an institutional zone to the city’s zoning ordinance code, paving the way for signage to line the fence in the future near the athletic fields on the property of St. Agnes. City Administrator Gary Huff said the new zone opens up opportunities for multiple uses on the site of the church and elementary school.

Fort Wright’s fire department gained a vote of confidence from council when it unanimously approved a resolution in support of an application for Assistance to Firefighter’s Grant from FEMA. Chief Steve Schewe was appreciative of the support, saying the city’s department has “benefited greatly” from the grant in past years. The department’s opposite number, the police department, was also recognized by council on Wednesday evening. George Kreutzjans, who has served since 2002, and Jonathan Colwell, with four years of service to the city, were introduced in front of their friends and family as the city’s newest sergeants.

Other Notes:

Councilman Adam Feinauer was appointed as the 2016 Representative to the Planning and Development Services Council, with Mayor Dave Hatter serving as the alternate.

As part of the approval to this year’s street repair program, Public Works Director Tim Maloney proposed to council members that the two cul-de-sacs located on Beacon Hill be removed when the street undergoes repairs in the spring. Maloney said his primary motive behind their removal lies in the current difficulty that plows have removing snow when reaching the end of the street. Furthermore, a cul-de-sac contributes to the buildup of water underneath the street which lessen its longevity, he added. While no official action has taken place, the director said he would like to consult with city engineer Mark Brueggemann before making a final determination on the matter.

There are many questions concerning the new Chick-fil-A restaurant proposed for 3L Highway: Once the Commonwealth of Kentucky purchases the excess right-of-way on Madison Pike for the parking, Huff told Council, everything will be good to go moving forward. It is just a matter of when the state will go ahead with the purchase.

The accident late Wednesday morning on Madison Pike at Kyles Lane involving a truck hauling lumber that took several hours to clean up made Police Chief Dan Kreinest say he would like to look into exacting a weight limit on the stretch of road to prevent eighteen wheelers from traveling upon it. Though there were no serious injuries in the crash, he said it could have been a lot worse had it taken place during rush hour. Kreinest is in the midst of formally contacting the state highway department to discuss the matter, he said.

Written by Jason Finnell, RCN contributor