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Florence Adds New Police Officer, Welcomes Hidden Rocks Craze

The City of Florence set its new tax rates, swore in a new police officer, and amended a road project, among other things at its Tuesday night city council meeting.

Council officially set the tax rate for the upcoming year for real property at $0.182 per $100 of assessed value, and the rate for personal property at $0.316 per $100 of assessed value. In addition, the city charges tax on the hazardous pension for the city's police and fire, and that rate is $.064 per $100 of assessed value for both real and tangible property.

Mayor Diane Whalen officially swore in another police officer for the city.  

Tad Ecklar took the oath of office and is set to complete the 23-week course at the police academy in Richmond. The 21-year old is the grandson of Tom Kathman, a former police chief in the City of Florence. Present were his mom, sister, and both sets of grandparents who watched proudly.

When Florence relocated the utilities on Kentucky 237, the project ended up with about $8,000 left over, and when the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet contacted the city about the funds, the city decided to spend the money on realigning manhole covers throughout the city for the sanitary sewers.

Council also passed a resolution supporting the removal of reformulated gas from the state implementation plan for Boone, Campbell, and Kenton counties. The Chamber of Commerce asked for resolutions from cities to send to the Division of Air Quality to try once again to release the area from the RFG gas.

Florence Fire Department Batallion Chief Bill Allen told council about the Tunnel to Towers race that has been held every year in New York in honor of Stephen Siller, a firefighter who, when he saw the terrorist attacks of 9/11, stopped his car on his way home, put on his gear, and ran through the tunnel to get back to the towers where he lost his life. This year there will be a 5K race on September 16 beginning at the 9/11 memorial in Crescent Springs where firefighters will run in their full gear. 

Jo Craven, of Walton, came to council to help explain the NKY hidden rocks craze. She said that a Facebook group about the topic now has 11,000 followers since February, gaining almost 100 per day, and have events planned for each month. Rocks are hidden all over, some with messages and some just with pictures.

Council spoke about their encounters with the rocks, and overall were impressed with the endeavor.

"We want people to know our parks are rock friendly," said Mayor Whalen. "So, you can participate however you want. Sharing a positive message is something everyone can use."

Written by Patricia A. Scheyer, RCN contributor
Photo: Tad Ecklar is sworn in as a Florence Police officer by Mayor Diane Whalen (RCN)
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