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Silver Grove Becomes 7th River City in Southbank Partners


Silver Grove is now a member of Southbank Partners, joining other River Cities, Covington, Newport, Fort Thomas, Bellevue, Dayton, and Ludlow.

It is the seventh city to become part of the community and economic development organization that serves Northern Kentucky's River Cities.

Silver Grove has a population of about 1,200.

Silver Grove Mayor Neal Bedel said he is excited about the opportunities of being a member of Southbank Partners will provide to the city. 

“The partnership will open doors to new resources as our city works to shape a vision for its future,” Bedel said. “I have served as mayor for 14 years, and I have never been more excited about an opportunity for our city.” 

The community and economic development services provided by Southbank Partners range from promoting and coordinating development activities, fostering collaboration among partner cities, and providing a unified voice to advocate for common positions to state, federal, and local governments. 

Mayor Bedel says those types of services are just what Silver Grove needs. “We want to create a vision that complements our small town and will directly benefit our residents, local businesses, and visitors. I believe they can help us achieve those goals.”

Silver Grove is a small, tight-knit community that has weathered the ebb and flow of life along the river for many decades through the dedication of its residents and many advocates, Mayor Bedel said. 

In recent years, the city has stepped up sustainability and revitalization efforts. Top priorities include park and trail improvements, reducing flood insurance rates, and constructing sidewalks to improve safety and walkability, he said.

In recent years, its independent school district voted to consolidate with Campbell County, and its police department was closed. The city is served by Campbell County Police.

Working with Southbank Partners and grant writer Robert Yoder, who also serves the City of Dayton as economic development director, Silver Grove has pursued grants for new sidewalks and other much-needed projects in the city. This effort is paying off. Since 2015, through the help of Southbank Partners, the city obtained four grants totaling more than $1 million to construct sidewalks in the city and along Ky. 8.

Two phases of the sidewalk project are complete, and construction on the third phase is set to begin later this summer. The fourth grant -- awarded in 2018 -- will not be dispersed until 2023.

Yoder, who is currently working to find additional sidewalk funding and identify recreational opportunities along the river, is energized by the city’s decision to join Southbank Partners.

“There is strength in numbers,” Yoder said. “Having a collaborative network will help the city achieve so much in revitalizing the community as we continue to identify needs throughout the city and work to find solutions.”

Southbank Partners President Jack Moreland said his organization would continue to work on location-specific economic development projects, as it has done in all of its partner cities in recent years. Discussions about expanding Riverfront Commons from Ft. Thomas into Silver Grove are also on the table. 

“This is a great opportunity to maximize the positive community effort and get things going for Silver Grove,” Moreland said. “We’re here to help.”

“Our focus is to work with the cities to help them get what they need to achieve their vision,” Moreland said. “From grant writing, advocacy, and the day-to-day oversight of projects, we work collaboratively with many individuals and organizations to achieve the goals of our partner cities. Our success is a direct result of speaking with a common voice.”

-Staff report

Photo: A street in Silver Grove (RCN file)