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Ludlow Continues to Work Through Financial Woes

The City of Ludlow continues to work through its financial woes.

The city was approved for a renewal of its tax anticipation note (TAN), valued at $500,000. Cities sometimes rely on such a loan, and often carry it over year to year, to cover operating expenses between the start of a new fiscal year and the arrival of citizens' tax payments.

Interim city administrator and police chief Scott Smith said that a new accounting firm has been hired and were set to arrive last week to reconcile the checkbook. The firm is working closely with the Kentucky League of Cities, which is assisting Ludlow in its financial situation, and the auditor.

The city has yet to see a public presentation of the audit findings, though nearly all, if not all, neighboring cities have completed that process.

"Hopefully we will have a presentation or (the auditor's) report by the next council meeting," Smith said. The city council is set to meet for a legislative session on Thursday.

Ludlow's financial problems were first reported in March, when it was announced that two staff members had been laid off shortly after, in an unrelated matter, former city administrator Elishia Chamberlain had been fired by Mayor Josh Boone. 

In April, Smith spelled out ways the city has made cuts to close its budget deficit, including a reduction in health care contributions and mobile phone payments for staff members, using county jail inmates to assist with public works projects, not filling open positions, and eliminating other amenities at the city building.

Smith also noted that resident Joanie Powers had been donating her time to help the city with some internal operations, and has served as a sort of liaison for the city to the community during the transitional period.

Other notes:

City council is considering regulating the use of Ludlow Plaza for events and implementing a fee structure.

Nonprofit organizations would likely not be charged, according to a discussion at the city council caucus meeting late last month, but other groups could have to pay upwards of $500 to use the site.

Additionally, the process to remove off-street parking from outside the Ludlow Theatre, home to Bircus Brewing and Circus Mojo, so that the space can be used for outdoor seating. Eleven spaces would be impacted.

Owner Paul Miller will have to follow the usual procedure and request analysis of a text amendment to the zoning code at the Kenton County Planning Commission.

Written by Michael Monks, editor & publisher