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Sign Honoring Carly Pearce Stolen in Taylor Mill

The Taylor Mill city commission hosted its regular meeting last week at Pride Park's event building to allow people more room to spread out with COVID-19 cases rising in the region.

At the meeting, Mayor Dan Bell said that the new sign honoring Taylor Mill native and country music star Carly Pearce was stolen from its location.

The sign was installed at the south end of the city and was displayed during an event honoring Pearce on September 2, ahead of her concert with Lady A in Newport.

Bell said that the city suspects that the sign was poached in the evening hours.

"They had to do this with a truck or a ladder or both," said Bell. "Someone saw them take this down. Please call us if you saw anything. I'd like to catch them!"

The city has been dealing with vandalism at Pride Park and installed security cameras as a response.

Public Works Director Marc Roden said the city has taken a similar sign honoring Pearce from the north end of the city and installed it in the south end, and have ordered a new sign.

Commissioners last week passed a resolution formally declaring September 2 to be Carly Pearce Day in the city, and another resolution affirming the award of the key to the city, both of which were presented to the singer on that day.

Also at  the meeting, General Fernbach was promoted from part-time firefighter/medic to assistant fire chief.

Fire Chief John Stager said that he worked with Fernbach for a number of years, and testified to his stellar character, and how pleased he is to promote Fernbach.

Fernbach's wife, Suzanne, pinned the new rank on her husband's uniform shirt, while members of his family looked on proudly. Commissioner Dan Murray handed him his new helmet, and City Administrator Brian Haney administered the oath of office.

In other business, the commission set its new tax rates: the new rate for real estate is $0.453 per $100 of assessed value, and the personal property rate is $0.619  per $100 of assessed value. 

Last year's real estate rate was $0.454. and the personal property rate was $0.770. Both rates include the compensating rate to ensure that the city collects at least the same amount of revenue as last year.

The commission also adopted its contract with Republic Waste Services for $174 per dwelling per year. Mayor Dan Bell pointed out that if the city had gone with the second year of a contract with Rumpke, the cost would have been over $200, so with this new contract the city was able to hold the cost down.

It was announced that Scott High School will have its homecoming parade on Friday, September 24, at 6 p.m., along the usual route.

Police Chief Steve Knauf announced that the department has hired a new officer, Steve Robinson, an 18-year veteran of law enforcement. He will start on September 20.

The commission also talked about its share of federal funds from the American Rescue Plan, passed during the Biden administration, and the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, adopted during the Trump administration, both in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In total, Mayor Bell said the city will receive $1.76 million.  

He mentioned Vincent Drive as one of the street/drainage problems that the city hopes to deal with, since they are partnering with  SD-1 to solve drainage problems.

The use of the money is restricted to certain areas, but rainwater management is one of the areas, as are broadband and tourism.

Installing curbs is a major interest of the commissioners, to minimize damage from water. Bell also pointed out how the City of Independence wants to improve its amphitheater, and Bell said the City of Taylor Mill has always wanted to put an amphitheater at Pride Park, but couldn't qualify for grants.

Bell told commissioners that he would like to take advantage of some of the federal money to create and outdoor venue.

Commissioners voted to get a quote on the project. 

Haney, the city administrator, said that more than $50,000 in CARES Act funds could be allocated to police and fire salaries, as was done previously in the city. The commission voted to make that move again.

Written by Patricia A. Scheyer, RCN contributor

Top photo: Carly Pearce with a sign honoring her in Taylor Mill earlier this month (RCN file)