The Northern Kentucky Area Planning Council fulfilled one of its primary statutory responsibilities in late June when it considered and then approved the organization’s budget and proposed tax rate for Fiscal Year 2015. The group of elected officials representing each of Kenton County’s 20 local jurisdictions concluded the evening by changing its name and approving a number of steps recommended earlier by the PDS Management Board (formerly the area planning commission).
Among the many facts about the proposed budget illustrated for elected officials was the FY15 bottom line. “This new fiscal year budget approximates the bottom line of our Fiscal Year 2006 budget,” said Dennis Gordon, FAICP, PDS executive director. “It also represents an approximation with the bottom line of our FY14 budget—the one that just ended in June.”
Because of growth since last year in the county’s real property values, Gordon asserts this bottom line will lead to a less-than-compensating rate for PDS on this fall’s Kenton County tax bills. Compensating rates produce the same amount of revenue as the preceding year’s rate.
In other action taken by the Council, members followed suit on action taken in May by the area planning commission which changed its name and those of its operations to Planning and Development Services of Kenton County. The Council approved a resolution which among other things changes its name to the PDS (Planning and Development Services) Council. Both name changes were part of a comprehensive effort aimed at clarity.
A communications assessment conducted in 2011 found that the number one problem people had with NKAPC was confusion about the services it provided and how they differed from those provided by the Kenton County Planning Commission. The other reason for the change was to reflect the true mission of the agency as a service provider on behalf of the county’s 20 local governments—a city-county planning department, if you will—and the county-wide planning commission created by those jurisdictions nearly 50 years ago.
PDS is overseen by a group of seven individuals who meet regularly to assure that direction provided by the community’s elected officials is being followed. The organization’s budget and the tax rate that funds a majority of it are reviewed and approved annually by these elected officials as required by law.
PDS provides professional staff support to the Kenton County Planning Commission. It also supports a majority of the county’s 20 local jurisdictions as their planning, engineering, and building staff. And, it serves as managing partner and provides the central hub and staffing for the multi-county LINK-GIS partnerships.