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Erlanger Council Recap

The Erlanger Police and Fire departments have hosted a few mini-parades to cheer up residents during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The parades so far have been through Misty Creek, Greenfield, Lakemont, and Sherbourne subdivisions, but they have plans to make it around to all the Erlanger neighborhoods eventually.  

During a virtualcouncil meeting this week, Police Chief Kyle Rader told council members about the parades.

He also let council know they are meeting with local businesses with video chats,  and their officers are following CDC guidelines about the virus, and monitoring the city for excess gatherings.  

Fire Chief Todd Whitaker echoed what Rader said, and commented that they have been able to test their members if they have any exposure to the virus. Currently, he said, one test hasn't come back yet. Whitaker said the department is one person short, but when the city is back to normal the department hopes to be able to hire another person. 

Until normal returns, the department is trying to stay ahead of the curve and maintain positivity. Whitaker told council that the department is solid on personal protective equipment (PPE) supplies right now, and monitor it every day.

Director of Public Works Peter Glenn said projects within the city have been put on hold for now, although there are some sidewalks being replaced. He told council that the parks are open, but not the shelters or playground equipment, or the restrooms. The rest of the street repair projects have not yet gone out to bid.

Council voted to table two of the legislative issues scheduled on the agenda. The second reading of an ordinance about compensation of elected officials was postponed until a committee meeting can be held to discuss the ordinance. Another ordinance about the Community Achievement Scholarship increase was also tabled for the same reason.

The first reading of an ordinance seeking to set up a grant program for owners of real property to improve the value of their property by helping to demolish abandoned and blighted buildings on the properties was held, but council members want to delay the second reading until they can hold a committee meeting to discuss the ordinance.  The first reading deleted any reference to a specific amount of money to be budgeted for the grant program.

Several items which were declared surplus by council were sold on gov/deals.com, including an old ambulance, an air compressor, and a bush hog.

Mayor Jessica Fette said that even though the city building is not open, the phone is being answered, and staff members are doing their best to answer questions. She reiterated that the playgrounds are closed, and people who rented shelters had their permits suspended. No further rentals will be accepted at this time.

She also announced that the city is working with Republic Waste, which doesn't want its drivers to get out of the trucks. Instead, the company wants to use the truck automated arms to pick up the cans, and don't want any extra garbage that isn't in cans. However, with people quarantined at their homes, they are generating more garbage, and all of it will not fit in the cans. People are also working in their yards and generating yard waste, so the city is working with the company to come to a compromise for the problem.

The Railroad Depot will not be open until the quarantine is over. The farmers market will also not open until the social-distancing requirement is over.

Written by Patricia A. Scheyer, RCN contributor

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