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Ft. Wright: Ambulance Service in Park Hills, State Regulations Discussed at Council

Fort Wright city council decided last week to keep its offer to the City of Park Hills to continue providing ambulance services.

Park Hills decided to put the contract out to bid after Fort Wright raised its price.

Fort Wright concluded that costs associated with the service had increased and needed to be included in the new contract. The city will not submit another bid, instead maintaining that the contract offer would be its bid.

The City of Fort Wright accepted $114,000 in Municipal Road Aid funds from the Commonwealth of Kentucky. It so happened that State Rep. Diane St. Onge (R-Ft. Wright) was present at the meeting, and Councilman Bernie Wessels said to her that some state roads in the city were in bad shape. St. Onge admitted that the road situation was frustrating.

She also told council members that this year's General Assembly session was tough - but said a lot was accomplished.

Mayor Dave Hatter asked St. Onge about the difference of hiring police officers in Ohio and Kentucky. In Kentucky, he said, a police officer candidate must be sponsored by a municipal agency in order to go attend the police academy at Eastern Kentucky University. With that training, it can take up to a year before the officer is on the streets.

St. Onge said that she did not know why the standards are tougher in Kentucky for police officer hires.

Another issue brought to the legislator's attention was the challenge in beautifying highways. One issue in particular is related to trees and shrubbery, and city leaders asked about why removing trees or planting new plants has to be so stringently documented.

St. Onge said that outdated regulations were burdensome and that the state is working to ease the pain.

Kentucky League of Cities' J.D. Chaney was also present to offer an update on the legislative session. He said that KLC saw 14 of its 20 bills pass, though one was vetoed by Governor Matt Bevin.

Former city administrator Ed Butler, who is now chief deputy at the Kenton County Detention Center, returned to council to say goodbye. Hatter presented Butler with a gift.

Hatter also announced that the July meeting will be on July 11, moved because of the Independence Fay holiday, and that the June 20 caucus meeting will be canceled due to scheduling problems.

Written by Patricia A. Scheyer, RCN contributor
Photo: Mayor Hatter and Ed Butler (RCN)