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Independence Approves Pay Increase for Officers

Independence Police Chief Tony Lucas explained the police department's year-long process to acquire new firearms at last week's special city council meeting.

Lucas said that the department is purchasing new 9 mm handguns but that it took a year to gather all the necessary information before making a decision.

There have been some issues. For example, red dot sites to accompany the guns were ordered but did not fit in the officers' holsters, so new holsters had to be ordered.

The new holsters are more secure, Lucas said.

"I ask that you trust me on this," Chief Lucas told council. "The main thing is for the guys on the street to be safe."

The department is also working to raise $75,000 for a new K9 officer. More than $50,000 has already been raised, Lucas said. Those who donate can suggest a name for the police dog.

Mayor Chris Reinersman said that he donated and planned to suggest the name, Sparkles.

Elsewhere in the council's discussion about budget items, the mayor said that police will receive a $1.50 increase to their hourly wage since competition is stiff among police departments now.

That raise is in addition to the 1 to 5 percent merit increase already planned for city employees.

Council adopted the new fiscal year budget.

Council also gave its approval for a text amendment to a development coming from Holland Group which adds a definition for brewery, distillery, and winery to the permitted uses within the Planned Unit Development Overlay Zone.

The Holland group plans to develop a 29.41-acre site at the northeast corner of KY 16 and KY 17 with 85 residential units and a community clubhouse. There will also be four commercial buildings which will include two restaurants, a gas station/grocery, and a brewery.  

Council also approved a zone change from R-1B, a single family residential zone, to R-2 PUD, a multi-family residential zone with a planned unit development overlay.

Independence's July council meeting will be held on Tuesday, July 6 instead of Monday that week due to the July 4 holiday being recognized on that Monday.

The city will also celebrate Independence Day with a car show in the Kroger parking lot from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and a parade at 3 p.m. starting at Summitview School to Simon Kenton High School.

At 4 p.m., there will be live music and food trucks with fireworks at 10 p.m.

Councilwoman Carol Franzen thanked the community for support and prayers on behalf of her son who has battled cancer. Franzen said that he is now cancer-free.

-Patricia A. Scheyer, RCN contributor