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Entries for 2020

Request for Proposals: Banking Services

Posted on December 04, 2020

Planning and Development Services of Kenton County will accept sealed bids on the following:

Banking Services

Bid forms can be obtained from PDS at 1840 Simon Kenton Way, Suite 3400, Covington, Kentucky 41011-2999.  All bids must be received by 4 PM on Wednesday, December 16, 2020 to be considered. 


Engineering, GIS staffs collaborate on asset inventories

Posted on June 29, 2020

PDS’ infrastructure inspection and GIS staffs completed and delivered two asset inventory projects recently. The Erlanger project was comprehensive in nature, requiring an inspector to walk 120 miles of city sidewalk and curb to record the GPS coordinates of every pavement failure along with its type and severity. The inspector also pursued a pavement condition assessment for 60 miles of street while walking them. The project took three months to complete.

The Villa Hills project was the first of four annual installments. Like the Erlanger effort, this project required an inspector to walk 18 miles of sidewalk and curb to record the GPS coordinates of each pavement failure along with its type and severity. This project took one month to complete.

PDS’ GIS staff took these data, plotted the location of each failure on a map, created an electronic dashboard as a means for city personnel to interact with the data, and served up the deliverable to the city. Each GPS point on the map ties to an electronic database of ratings: Very Good; Good; Fair; Poor; and Very Poor to classify pavement condition.

Inventories like these are undertaken generally during winter months when street and sidewalk construction is slow. In the past, staff from these two departments have collaborated on similar projects for Covington, Park Hills, Elsmere, and Kenton County.

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PDS Board hires new executive director

Posted on May 04, 2020

Sharmili Reddy left Planning and Development Services of Kenton County five years ago to become City Administrator for Fort Mitchell. On Friday, she accepted an offer from the organization’s Management Board to become its fifth executive director. Current executive director Dennis Gordon will retire this summer after almost 18 years of service to Kenton County.

“Dennis gave us plenty of notice so we could find the best possible candidate,” said County Commissioner Joe Nienaber who serves as the Board’s chairman. “We advertised nationally and received resumes from quite a few exceptional people. In the end, we decided Sharmili’s previous PDS experience and her five years in Fort Mitchell made her the best candidate to move the organization forward.”

Reddy has a Bachelor of Architecture degree from BMS College of Engineering, Bangalore, India, and a Master of Community Planning degree from the University of Cincinnati. Her professional planning experience includes two years with the Center Regional Planning Agency in State College, Pennsylvania, and ten years with PDS before leaving for the post in Fort Mitchell.

“PDS has a long history of community impact in Kenton County and I am excited for the opportunity to come back and lead this organization,” said Reddy.

“Sharmili was a great contributor to our mission during her ten years on staff,” said Dennis Gordon, PDS executive director. “She provided great people skills and played a key role in developing Kenton County’s online comprehensive plan, Direction 2030. We hated to lose her when she left for Fort Mitchell.”

Direction 2030 received several state and national awards since its adoption in 2014 by the Kenton County Planning Commission.

PDS, formerly known as the Northern Kentucky Area Planning Commission, was created in 1961 following action in 1960 by the Kentucky General Assembly. Through the early 1980s it served as staff for the multiple citizen planning commissions that existed in Campbell and Kenton Counties. It has served as staff for the Kenton County Planning Commission and its 20 local governments since 1983. Interestingly, today marks the 59th anniversary of the organization’s first meeting held at the Covington City Building—a date the organization refers to as Founder’s Day.

“We’re talking with Sharmili now regarding her start date,” stated Nienaber. “I believe we can work things out so she can spend some time with Dennis before he leaves on the first of August.”

Historic Northern Kentucky Treasure Gets Boost from New Fund

Posted on March 06, 2020

Horizon Community Funds announces new conservation efforts for Licking River watershed

Covington, KY – Horizon Community Funds of Northern Kentucky has joined community partners to establish the Licking River Conservation and Greenway Fund, which supports land and water conservation and greenway initiatives in the Licking River watershed.

“This is an exciting, and critical, fund for us to offer Northern Kentucky,” says Horizon Community Funds President Nancy Grayson. “It shows the breadth of partnerships we’re able to create as a community foundation serving Northern Kentucky. Together, we can better address the many diverse needs of our community, including helping to preserve the natural and historical heritage of the Licking River.”

Through the new fund Horizon Community Funds and supporting donors will gather financial resources to invest in the conservation and stewardship of the Licking River, while helping to raise awareness of its value as a natural, historical, and economic resource.

The Licking River, named for the many prehistoric salt springs and licks in the region, is a historic and natural treasure for both Northern Kentucky and the Commonwealth. With ties to Native American history, the Revolutionary War, the Underground Railroad, and the state’s original bourbon journey, the Licking River watershed also sustains a wide range of biodiversity and boasts more mussel species than the entire continent of Africa.

Within the Northern Kentucky area, most of the Licking River watershed exists in Campbell and Kenton counties. Several creeks in the area act as tributaries to the river. 

For more information or to make a gift to the Licking River Conservation and Greenway Fund at Horizon Community Funds, visit www.horizonfunds.org or call 859.757.1552.

Comments from Project Partners:

Kris Knochelmann, Kenton County Judge Executive: “The Licking River is an incredible natural resource in our community. The Conservation and Greenway Fund will be another tool available to help protect this asset and make it accessible to folks for kayaking, canoeing, fishing, hiking, camping and a whole host of outdoor activities. The work to restore and conserve the Licking River watershed will be generational, but all great efforts start with seemingly small steps forward that compound significantly over time. If you want to be a part of potentially the largest land and water conservation effort in Kenton County’s history, let me know. We want to work with you.”

Steve Pendery, Campbell County Judge Executive: “The Licking River is central to the story of Northern Kentucky. The streams of twenty-three Kentucky counties lead to this place, and hundreds of years of the Commonwealth’s history flow along with it. The Licking River Conservation and Greenway Fund fills a gap in the tools available to our community to conserve and activate this natural asset. I appreciate Horizon Community Funds’ partnership in creating this mechanism, and hope that it fulfills its potential to assist in conserving and restoring the watershed’s corridor. This is a long-term project, but I’m excited at the steps being taken forward and am confident that our younger generations will see it through and celebrate its success.”   

Rich Boehne, Horizon Community Funds Council of Trustees: “Setting up this conservation and greenway fund, and bringing the many tools of Horizon Community Funds to the effort, will be foundational in reaching long-term goals for development of the Licking River as a leading destination for recreational and environmental tourism. The fund also will be a platform for supporting and facilitating investments in the conservation and health of this critical watershed that binds together a significant portion of the Commonwealth.”

Amy Winkler, District Coordinator of Campbell County Conservation District: “The opportunity that has arisen and made possible through the Licking River Conservation and Greenway Fund has connected numerous organizations for the purpose of land conservation and recreational uses. The Campbell County Conservation District looks forward to working with these groups through our common goal of being good stewards of the land and highlighting the natural beauty of the Licking River Corridor. Our Hawthorne Crossing Conservation Area is just one step toward conserving the Licking River corridor in Campbell County.”

Chris Kaeff, Kenton County Soil & Water Conservation District: “On the map, it may serve as the official boundary line between the counties, but in reality, the Licking River brings the people of Northern Kentucky together. It is an essential feature of our shared landscape, our shared heritage, and our shared future. The new Licking River Conservation and Greenway Fund will provide critical resources to the public agencies and nonprofits, on both sides of the river, who are dedicated to improving the health and vitality of this magnificent waterway. The Kenton County Conservation District welcomes the opportunity to work with new partners through the Fund in order to protect the natural beauty of the Morning View Heritage Area and enhance public recreational access to the river.”

Donavan Hornsby, Campbell County Conservancy: "As stewards of the land, Northern Kentucky residents and stakeholders have an opportunity to elevate land conservation and stream restoration to the same level of reverence and commitment afforded by the community to values such as public safety, education, and economic vitality. Many recognize that these core values are interdependent and crucial to our collective future. Realization of our potential as a region will require acceleration and deepening of conservation's impacts. We greatly appreciate Horizon Community Funds’ commitment to and investment in that realization."

Wade Johnston, Director of Tri-State Trails at Green Umbrella: "Many of us drive over the Licking River on a daily basis, but few have an opportunity to interact with the scenic and historic waterway. The unprecedented multi-jurisdictional effort to conserve and celebrate the Licking River corridor will make this amazing asset more accessible to Northern Kentuckians. The Licking River Conservation and Greenway Fund is a critical tool to enable the community to take part in preserving this natural resource for future generations.”

About Horizon Community Funds 

Horizon Community Funds of Northern Kentucky is a qualified public charitable 501(c)(3) organization established as a community foundation in 2017 by Northern Kentucky leaders. Its mission is to unite resources to raise the quality of life for all people in the Northern Kentucky community. Learn more at www.horizonfunds.org