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Park Hills Still Looking for Permanent Home for Council Meetings

Park Hills considered budget items at its caucus meeting this week, including finding a permanent place to meet in person.

The city's official council room is small with a capacity of fewer than 20 people.

Over the past decade, council has hosted meetings in a building owned by Covington Catholic High School, and also at a community room on the campus of Notre Dame Academy.

But during the COVID-19 pandemic, Notre Dame would not permit in-person meetings on campus since older nuns could be at higher risk for the virus, and because there are students on campus potentially vulnerable to the coronavirus.

Councilman Kevin Downes suggested that the city look at the possibility of adding another floor to the fire department, above the bays where the fire trucks are. 

Mayor Kathy Zembrodt said that there is already a room that is above the main floor in the firehouse, and council has met there many times, but it cannot accommodate many more people than the official council chambers.

Covington Catholic has no place that the city could rent either. 

Zembrodt told council that local business Permakill has offered a place to rent but that space is smaller than the city needs. 

The mayor said that the city needs about a thousand square feet.

Downes argued that city business should take place in one central location and that before the city rents or buys another location, an expansion of the current facility should be explored.

The city is able to use federal coronavirus aid funds for the purpose of finding a meeting location.

In other business, Councilwoman Pam Spoor said that she wants legislation at the next meeting that elected city leaders will not receive a raise in pay until after the next election. The consideration is raise council members' salary from $1,200 per year to $2,000, and the mayor's from $3,600 to $10,000.

Staff members are being considered for a 3 percent raise. Council is also exploring a one- or two-time payment of $1,000 for full-time staff and $500 for part-time staff for extra work during the pandemic.

Written by Patricia A. Scheyer, RCN contributor