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Taylor Mill Approves Memorial Plan at Pride Park

This article has been corrected: The firefighter memorial will be placed at Pride Park, not the former firehouse on Winston Avenue.

The Taylor Mill city commission is set to approve a zoning change to accommodate a new Dunkin' store.

A first reading of the necessary ordinance was read last week changing a zoning text for the Downtown Taylor Mill (DTM) 2, 3, and 4 zones so that a main entrance to a business does not have to face the road. A front door facing the street is still necessary but does not have to be the main entrance.

It also adjust the setback allowance to 15-feet from the right-of-way rather than 45-feet.

A building's height can also be two stories and 24-ft. high rather than 30-ft. high.

The Holland Group, which owns what is colloquially known as the Trifecta Building (because it houses three iconic Cincinnati brands, LaRosa's, Skyline, and Graeter's), sought the zone change to place the new Dunkin' there.

The changes were approved by the Kenton County Planning Commission and will next have a second reading at the city commission.

Meanwhile, there are plans to place a memorial for firefighters at the front of Pride Park, following the sale of the former firehouse on Winston Avenue.

Victoria and Bon Warde joined Rick Mueller at the city commission meeting, as the last members of the former Taylor Mill Fire Association, to present plans for the memorial. The plan calls for a three-flag memorial with the names of three fire associations (Taylor Mill, Winston Park, and Forest Hills).

They also showed a bronze figure of a firefighter on one knee talking to a little boy, which they would like to include, along with a couple of benches, and a Maltese cross and pavers in the floor surface.  

The figure would cost approximately $69,000, and the association has $130,000 from the sale of the building.

Commissioners voted to approve the location of the memorial and the preliminary design. Bob Warde promised to keep the city informed on the progress.

The current firehouse on Taylor Mill Road is slated for repairs, which City Administrator Brian Haney estimated to be between $180,000 to $220,000. The plan is to fix sinking walls, water leaks, and mold remediation.

The city may choose to demolish the damaged parts of the building and to construct a pole-barn-type structure for the fire department.

Fire Chief John Stager was recognized for ten years of service to the city. He was hired in 2010 as a firefighter/EMT, and promoted to Lieutenant in 2012, then promoted to chief in 2014.  

Bob Fultz, a longtime member of the police force, has had to resign due to health issues, but commissioners fondly remembered how he was known as the Bulldog, and would keep at doing what he was tasked to do until he succeeded. They wished him luck, and reluctantly accepted his resignation.

Commissioners agreed to change the time of the regular commission meetings from 7 pm to 6:30 pm just while the city has to conduct virtual meetings during the pandemic.

Haney also reported on the progress of the city building. Commissioners had originally set aside $30,000, and spent $23,400 to remove three doors, repair the brick, paint the brick, repair the gutters and soffits, and put in five new windows that don't leak air.

He said that the cty also bought a reader board screen, and Public Works Director Marc Roden and his crew will design and build the structure to house the reader board, which is the most expensive part.

Haney asked the commission to authorize and additional $4,100 for cloth awnings in black to complete the new look of the city building. Mayor Dan Bell said that since they don't have the money for a new building, they had decided to "dress up what we have".  

Commissioners approved the money for the awnings.

Roden said that his department picked up seventeen deer and one coyote that had been hit and killed on the road and warned people it was deer season. 

The city will still host its Christmas tree-lighting event on Sunday, November 29, and the event will begin at 2 p.m. 

From 2 to 6 p.m. they will have Santa at the gazebo at Pride Park, and children can come to the edge of the gazebo and talk to Santa. There will be crafts for the children to take home, and the tree will be lit at about 5:30 p.m.

On December 5, Santa will drive around the neighborhoods, rain or shine.

Residents are encouraged to take part in a house decorating contest, and if they want to have their light display judged for the contest, they have to let the city building know by December 9.  

The judges, which are the commissioners and volunteers, will drive around and rate the lights on December 13. The top three will receive prizes.

-Patricia A. Scheyer, RCN contributor

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