Entries for 'fiscal court'

Fiscal Court, PDS resolve funding issues for collocation in Covington

Posted on May 04, 2017

The PDS Management Board voted unanimously on April 27th to accept Kenton County Fiscal Court’s invitation to move its operations to the county’s new administration building in Covington. That building will soon be under construction as the county rehabilitates and adds new space to the historic Bavarian Brewery building at the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard exit from I-71/75.

The board’s decision follows several meetings between its members and Judge/Executive Kris Knochelmann and County Administrator Joe Shriver. It also follows an affirmative vote by PDS Council members—elected officials who oversee PDS on behalf of Kenton County’s 20 local governments—following a presentation by Judge Knochelmann.

“Frankly, the county made us an offer we couldn’t refuse,” said Dennis Gordon, FAICP, PDS Executive Director. “Making this move into cohesive space on one floor will facilitate our efficiency and workflow while also relieving us of our long-term debt was almost a no-brainer. It will also relieve Kenton County taxpayers from paying for two buildings.”

Construction of the new facility is expected to begin this fall with an anticipated occupancy date of early 2019. More information about the project may be found on the county’s website.


Kenton Fiscal Court OKs Vacant Foreclosed Property Registry

Posted on January 03, 2017

Kenton County Fiscal Court voted unanimously last month to enact a county-wide vacant foreclosed property registration program. The program, which became effective December 9, increases the tools available to PDS staff for effective code enforcement activities. Most Kenton County cities advocated for the approval since early 2016.

Implementation of the new program will save tax dollars for PDS’ 16 One Stop Shop program jurisdictions by requiring lenders pursuing foreclosures to register a responsible party to maintain the vacant property. Knowing whom to contact reduces the time spent locating a responsible party when violations arise. The ordinance applies to all Kenton County communities regardless of whether they’re part of the PDS program.

In developing the ordinance with Kenton County Attorney Stacy Tapke, staff sought information from communities that have adopted vacant property registration programs. That research showed this type of program has proven to be a useful tool for other communities.

“The benefit at the office level is allowing faster turnaround times for property clean up,” said Joseph Parson, Planning/Building Inspector for the City of Morehead, Kentucky. That jurisdiction enacted a vacant property registration ordinance in 2011.

The City of Cincinnati uses a similar program. Cincinnati issued a report two years after adopting its vacant foreclosed property registry which details the changes in code enforcement effectiveness before and after adoption. The report states that prior to adoption of the ordinance, an estimated 20-30 percent of foreclosed properties degraded in condition during the foreclosure period. Within the first year after adoption, only ten per cent of those properties degraded in condition. That number dropped to 4.5 percent in the second year.

The cost of administering this program will be the sole responsibility of the banks and lending institutions that must maintain these foreclosed properties. The program will be funded through a required $150 property registration fee. In addition, the registration will reduce costs related to code-enforcement activities by increasing staff efficiency in dealing with vacant and foreclosed properties.

“Requiring a local contact for these properties allows us to contact a person who has the authority to address issues such as tall grass or maintenance violations in a timely manner” said Rob Himes, PDS’ codes administrator. “Under the current system, code enforcement officials’ only option is to mail a violation letter to the lending institution which is often out of state and that rarely yields results.” 

Vacant foreclosed properties can drag down property values in an otherwise well-kept neighborhood. There are an estimated 1,321 properties currently pending foreclosure in Kenton County, some dating back to 2006. Most of these properties set vacant and unmaintained through all or part of the foreclosure process. Kenton County’s new Vacant Foreclosed Property Registry provides cities with a mechanism to require that these properties be maintained to reasonable standards while in foreclosure.

PDS staff is reaching out currently to all lending institutions doing business in the metro area to inform them of this new requirement. It is also working with each of Kenton County’s 20 jurisdictions to discuss the program and provide necessary information to local staff.

Contact Emi Randall, Director of Planning & Zoning Administration or Rob Himes, Codes Administrator, or call 859.331.8980 for more information.


South Kenton County residents speak up… “Keep it rural”

Posted on April 28, 2014
Citizen opinion surveys are often met with indifference in this age of electronics and instant polling. And yet, a recent questionnaire sent through the mail to more than 3000 South Kenton County residents sparked a good deal of interest and an unprecedented response. Over 1000 were completed and returned.

“I have worked with surveys on many topics around the state of Kentucky for 35 years and have never seen this level of agreement in responses to a survey,” said Dr. Lori Garkovich, Professor and State Extension Specialist in the Department of Community and Leadership Development at the University of Kentucky. “In analyzing the results it is apparent that the general message from the community to public officials is pretty straightforward - keep the area rural.”

Over 94 percent of the responses came from residents who live in southern Kenton County and more than 80 percent of those have lived in the community for over ten years. Garkovich calls this response “unprecedented.”

Respondents were asked to indicate their level of agreement or disagreement with a series of statements that presented conditions and issues in South Kenton County. Among the most telling responses were these.

"It is important to keep agriculture a viable part of the South Kenton economy."
Strongly Agree: 68.7%        Agree: 23.5%        TOTAL AGREE: 92.2%

"It is important to maintain the rural character of South Kenton County."
Strongly Agree: 70.7%        Agree: 19.3%        TOTAL AGREE: 90.3%

"I am satisfied with my access to commercial and retail stores where I live."
Strongly Agree: 49.3%        Agree: 37.5%        TOTAL AGREE: 86.8%

"Subdivisions and other residential development should be directed away from land which is being used for preservation or conservation purposes."
Strongly Agree: 52.2%        Agree: 31.7%        TOTAL AGREE: 83.9%

"Subdivisions and other residential should be directed away from land which is being used for agriculture."
Strongly Agree: 49.6%        Agree: 30.4%        TOTAL AGREE: 80.0%

"If residential and retail development occurs around these existing communities, it should maintain the small community character of these places."
Strongly Agree: 41.8%        Agree: 38.0%        TOTAL AGREE: 79.8%

On the other hand, when presented with a set of statements that describe development patterns the respondents see as unacceptable, they clearly express their disagreement.

"Subdivisions should be allowed in undeveloped areas."
Strongly Disagree: 36.2%    Disagree: 26.3%    TOTAL DISAGREE: 62.5%

"South Kenton County needs to have more employment centers (e.g., clusters of large employers)."
Strongly Disagree: 28.5%    Disagree: 32.1%    TOTAL DISAGREE: 60.6%

"If the opportunity arose to sell my farm for development, I would take it."
Strongly Disagree: 42.9%    Disagree: 16.0%    TOTAL DISAGREE: 58.9%

Detailed survey results of all questions are available for viewing at on the NKAPC website or in the community section of the Kenton County's Fiscal Court website.

“This survey provides us with a clear message from the community. Citizen responses will have implications on the recommendations we’re crafting for the Direction 2030 comprehensive planning effort,” said Sharmili Reddy, AICP, Planning Manager at NKAPC.

Additional focus group meetings are being planned to extend the conversation beyond the scope of the survey.