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NKY Mayors Hear About Safety of Region's Water, SD1 Lawsuit Update

During Saturday's meeting of the Kenton County Mayors Group, Amy  Kramer, Vice President of Engineering, Production, and Distribution at the Northern Kentucky Water District, gave a report on the safety of water in Northern Kentucky, saying that people are worried about lead because of the problems in Flint, Michigan.

"We are not Flint," she stated.

Kramer explained how the water district has corrosion inhibitor treatment in the water, which Flint removed to save money, but is now putting back in. She said leadis more likely to be in pipes in homes built in 1930 or earlier, but it can still be found in some homes built between 1930 and 1955. Homes built after 1955 have a dramatically lower chance of having lead pipes, but there is still a chance of trace amounts of lead, in places like solder on the joints of pipes or in the fixtures on the sink.  

Kramer explained that there are little things that homeowners can do to reduce any risk of trace amounts of lead being in the water including something as minimal as letting the water run for about a minute and a half before using the water to let any residue wash out.

Kramer mentioned that the water district's website now has four pages of frequently asked questions about water and that the district can also test water in a home for those who are very worried.

Other notes:

Erlanger Mayor Tyson Hermes gave a report on the progress of the multi-city lawsuit against Sanitation District 1, saying that there are 12 cities on board, and that the parties are still trying to come to an agreement.

For now, the lawsuit, which is mostly related to who is responsible for repairing broken sewer laterals, is on hold.

Dennis Gordon, Executive Director of Planning and Development Services of Kenton County (PDS), addressed several issues at the Mayor's meeting. In an effort to strengthen nuisance code  enforcement across the county, PDS attorney Garry Edmondson and staff have compiled model nuisance code language for all the cities to consider adopting. They plan to distribute the language to all the cities in the county and the goal is to have all cities operating under the same nuisance code by fall. Gordon also reminded the mayors that the code enforcement board that a lot of the cities already belong to is also a nuisance board and can take care of a lot of the local issues the cities have.

Gordon talked about the new mini cellular towers which are designed to boost cellular signals in certain areas. Since the planning commissions are responsible for siting the macro towers, they are now having to deal with what to do about the mini towers and are reworking their regulations to include them. A public hearing on the resulting regulations will be held as soon as May 5.

Some of the bills coming up at the state legislature were discussed. The 911 funding, HB 585, requires prepaid wireless providers to pay 911 fees equivalent to postpaid wireless fees. Another bill, HB 303, is a budget proposal which was passed and has gone to the senate. The bill gives coal producing cities an increase in the distribution of the Local Government Ecomonic Assistance fund money, and increases the police and fire incentive payments from $3,100 to $4,000.

Mayor Dan Bell from Taylor Mill told the mayors that there is $900 million in transportation funds out there to be had and it would be worth contacting the representatives to make sure Northern Kentucky will acquire its fair share of the funds. 

Finally, to start the meeting, Richard St. Onge, son of State Rep. Diane St. Onge (R-Lakeside Park) and a member of the U.S. armed forces, presented a flag to Crescent Springs Mayor Lou Hartfiel to be used in the 911 memorial.

Written by Patricia A. Scheyer, RCN contributor
Photo: Richard St. Onge presents flag to Mayor Hartfiel