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Kenton County Begins Search for Location of New Administration Building

Kenton County Fiscal Court formally began the process of looking for a new site for a new administration building.

At Tuesday night's meeting in Covington, following a short executive session, Judge/Executive Kris Knochelmann and Commissioners Jon Draud, Joe Nienaber, and Beth Sewell voted to execute the necessary documents to effectuate the execution of an option on property for the performance of due diligence with regard to the feasibility of construction a new building.

But where a new building may end up is uncertain.

"We are looking at multiple sites all over the county," said Knochelmann. "We would need 50,000 square feet, so that narrows it down a little."

Earlier this year, Corporex conducted a study of the current Kenton County Administration Building at Third & Court Streets in Covington. The 50-year old building has been the topic of discussion as a potential location for Chase College of Law should it move from Northern Kentucky University's campus in Highland Heights. The Corporex report indicated that in order to transform the tower to accommodate the law school, an estimated $42 million would be needed. For Kenton County to maintain its administrative services on the site while refurbishing the building, Corporex estimated a price of $26.2 million.

Aerial view of Kenton Co. Administration Building (via Kenton PVA)

The building is in need of repairs and is mostly empty, with multiple floors still occupied by the infrastructure of the Kenton County Detention Center which has since moved to South Covington.

Members of the fiscal court believe that constructing a new facility somewhere may prove to be cheaper.

Other notes:

Resolutions that were approved included the 2015-2016 budget amendments. Treasurer Roy Cox reported a total adjustment in unemployment insurance of $36,654, which was due largely to a matter of timing on the bill, as well as the fact that formerly employees at the golf course were laid off, a fact that allowed the unemployment insurance rate to go up. Other adjustments included an $8,000 sum to repair an air truck from the fire department which is used to fill the air tanks of the firefighters. Another one was $130,000 to bid on an 8 ton truck, because the original truck was in deplorable condition.

Another resolution designated  applicant agents for FEMA processing purposes, and another authorized an application to the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet for reimbursement of expenditures for the transportation of non-public school students. Yet another resolution authorized an agreement with Eaton Asphalt paving for the Latonia Lakes project. A final resolution gave a go-ahead for the paving of unon-maintained portions of Goshorn Road.

Executive orders that were passed included the appointment of Paul Anderson as a police officer for the Kenton County Police Department, and he was officially sworn in at the meeting.  Timothy Cain was appointed as a part time laborer for the Kenton County Parks Deparment, and several other individuals were appointed  as part time technicians for the Kenton County Animal Shelter. Timothy Moore's resignation was accepted from the Animal Shelter also.

Senator Chris McDaniel came to update the fiscal court on what is happening in Frankfort.

Knochelmann presented a proclamation to Keith Roberts for Motorcycle Awareness month.  Another proclamation was presented to Thomas More Women's Basketball Coach Jeff Hans honoring the teams second consecutive Division III National Championship. Sara Mize gave a report on how she was helping the county become an entity on social media, improving the Facebook likes for the five different departments and initiating Twitter and Instagram in the eight months she has been in charge.

Judge Knochelmann publicly thanked Greg Engelmann and Linda Chapman for  their help with the Golf Course incident review report.

Story & photos by Patricia A. Scheyer, RCN contributor

Slideshow Images & Captions: 
Sen. Chris McDaniel
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