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Independence Reaches K9 Funding Goal, Awards Road Contracts

The City of Independence raised more than $75,000 to procure a canine officer (K9) for its police department.

The announcement was first made at the city's Independence Day festival last weekend.

At the special city council meeting on Tuesday, Councilman Dave Shafer said that the Citizens Police Academy Alumni Association had a donation jar at a booth during the festival, which added $1,001 more dollars to the till.

Money is still coming in, he said.

Meanwhile, council listened to a presentation on the county-wide reevaluation of zoning, a project dubbed Z21.

Planning & Development Services of Kenton County Principal Zoning Official Krista Martin and Senior Planner Patrick Denbow presented the program which aims to reduce the current number of zones from 26 to 16.

Mayor Christopher Reinersman told council that Z21 would accommodate the needs of the community far better than the current system.

"We're already seeing the benefits," he said.

There were questions about a timeline for implementation, and the program appears to be about two months out.

Villa Hills is the only Kenton Co. city to formally adopt the program so far.  

Council passed a resolution which authorizes the city to apply for a text amendment, to send the entire Z21 update to the Kenton County Planning Commission.  The text amendment will follow the normal channels, beginning with the August 5 meeting, and once it clears the KCPC, it will come back to the city for an ordinance to be read at two different meetings.

Council awarded the bid for the 2021 street program to JPS Construction in an amount of $600,500.  The contract includes a tear-out of the the road and concrete reconstruction for Bedford Court, Peach Drive, and Walnut Hall. 

City Administrator Chris Moriconi said that the city will take care of the complete concrete reconstruction of Sylvan Drive in-house. 

Another  bid was awarded to Riegler Blacktop for repaving Cody Road from the bridge at the railroad trestle to Independence Station Road, for a sum of $386,563. It was explained that this is connected to a grant which would take care of Cody Road and the replacement of the bridge there.  

It is an 80/20 match, but last year's Covid quarantine put a delay on the grant, so this year the city will pursue the repaving of the road and next spring bid out the bridge replacement.

Moriconi noted that this bid includes adding a product to the blacktop that will help it last longer. 

-Patricia A. Scheyer, RCN contributor