City News Roundup: Taylor Mill, Park Hills, Edgewood
The following is a list of news items from local cities as covered by RCN's Patricia A. Scheyer:
Public Works Director Dan VonHandorf said that he is unsure when the Amsterdam Road project will be completed, but progress is being made.
Meanwhile, the city usually conducts an annual leaf pick-up, but this year, VonHandorf said that the city does not have anywhere to put the mulched leaves. Fortunately, Burlington-based Affordable Mulch agreed to take it, though it will result in a price increase from $35 to $45 per pickup. Councilwoman Pam Spoor said that the $45 is still a good one.
The city is also seeking a $4,000 grant from Green Umbrella, a Cincinnati-based regional sustainability alliance, to take care of invasive plant species in the city. Spoor said that the funds would help the city's Nature Preserve.
Councilman Jeff Schreiver suggested that the city pick up the cost of trash collection for a year for residents since other cities are finding ways to help businesses and residents deal with the economic impact of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Edgewood has about $1.9 million in capital improvement program (CIP) funds, he said.
Councilman Tony Ward wondered instead if the city could expedite the Dudley Road project, and Councilman Joe Messmer agreed that road improvements would be more desirable for residents than the trash collection bill.
City Administrator Brian Dehner explained that it is not possible to hurry federally funded projects.
"I think we need to give money back to the taxpayer," said Schreiver. "We need to do something for the residents."
Dehner also said that a new police cruiser's cost had not yet been removed from the CIP funds and a new ambulance is on the horizon at a cost of around $215,000. A fire station pumper will also have to be replaced at a cost of $800,000.
Schreiver insisted they have the money and he wants to see something go back to the residents. Ward countered by saying that maybe the city could pay down some of its debt.
Councilman Rob Thelen said that as a council they should look at what is coming down the road, to see if the city can stay prepared. Other council members agreed that the trash bill suggestion was on too short of a notice to act now.
Ward said that he does not oppose it, but that he just wanted to look at it as a council.
Dehner said the tax bills will go out the third week of October. He said he would get with Schreiver and discuss the possibility of taking the approximate $825,000 for trash collection out of the CIP fund and paying it to give a financial break to the residents.
The city commission opted to buy a new truck for the public works department after one broke down and is irreparable.
Public Works Director Marc Roden, at the insistence of the city commission, explored prices for a new truck, and found a 2019 Dodge Ram 5500 at Jeff Wyler at a cost of $54,255.
Roden said that the truck could be fitted with the appropriate equipment to spread salt in the winter.
Commission approved the purchase.