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City Gets First Look at Proposed Restroom/Picnic Area in Silverlake Park

Three fifth-grade students from Erlanger-Elsmere Schools presented to Erlanger city council last week the letters they wrote about drugs.

Students Against Narcotics Dependence (STAND), is a program offered within the schools and was started locally by Officer Joel Shepard, a school resource officer. Shepherd said that students are given a test before they start the program in the fifth grade, to see how much they know, and then again after they complete the course, to determine how much they have absorbed. 

He plans to follow the students through high school to see if the attitudes toward drugs have changed.

All the students were encouraged to write letters to patients undergoing treatment at the Brighton Recovery Center in Florence, instead of just writing an essay. All of the letters will be sent to recovering patients at the recovery center.

Five of the letters were recognized as excellent examples of what the students are learning in the program.

Three of the students attended the Erlanger meeting to read their letters out loud: Brooklyn Jackson, from Arnett Elementary; Aliiah Love, from Lindeman Elementary; and Ricky White, from Miles Elementary. Each one got a certificate and a hug from Mayor Jessica Fette.

K9 Officer Asco was presented with his retirement papers Tuesday for six years of service, 157 arrests, and over 500 call-outs, but not before he was promoted to sergeant.  His handler, Officer Chad Girdler, was promoted to lieutenant. The German shepherd seemed happy to be at the meeting, and didn't seem to notice that Mayor Fette assigned February 5 to be his day in the City of Erlanger.

A vote to declare the dog as surplus property was tabled because Councilman Gary Meyer wanted to explore the possibility of giving the canine some extra support in the form of food and supplies for his service.

City Attorney Brandon Voelker, who was sitting in for regular city attorney Jack Gatlin, clarified that the order that would declare the dog as surplus property with a value of $0, saying this was the same as allowing an officer to keep his service revolver.

Voelker told council members that the state decreed that if there is a monetary value associated with the gun or, in this case, the dog, then some people get upset that the city or the state is giving away something of value, and it would lessen the chance of the officer receiving the item. He said it did not devalue the importance of the dog or the gun, but it made the transference of ownership less complicated.

Ken Stevens, an officer who spent many years on the Erlanger Police Force, and started his career with Taylor Mill, retired from the force in 2011, and died unexpectedly last December, was honored for his service at the meeting.  Mayor Fette declared February 6 as Kenneth Stevens Day in the city.

The Erlanger Fire/EMS celebrated its 50th anniversary. Many members past and present attended the meeting to listen to the history of the squad. Mayor Fette honored Glenn Wells, who was the first colonel in the squad, and Tom Cahill, Jr., as the last colonel in the squad, and declared February 7 as Fire/EMS Day in the city.

Public Works Director Peter Glenn showed plans for a new restroom/picnic area at Silverlake Park. The grand design for the restroom included several stalls for both men and women with windows high up on the walls, and outside design very similar to that of the city building. Attached to the building would be a space under the roof that would have room for the picnic tables.

The price tag for the project is estimated at $600,000. 

Immediately several council members spoke against the price, while at the same time praising the look of the building.  

Councilwoman Patty Suedkamp stated that the public works building is in very bad shape, even to the point of being dangerous, and thought $600,000 would go far in not only fixing the building but also possibly moving it off the property that belongs to the railroad.

Mayor Fette said that this was just a future plan and she appreciated all the feedback from the council members about the cost. All the members thought Glenn had done a great job with the design.  

Written by Patricia A. Scheyer, RCN contributor

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