Below you will find a snapshot of issues me and the Fiscal Court have worked on during my first term as your commissioner. There are certainly more projects and improvements, but this is a taste of what I have been up to.
QUALITY OF LIFE IN CAMPBELL COUNTY
Expanded Hi-Speed, Broad-band, Fiber Internet to the entire county –
Over the past few years collaborating with Cincinnati Bell Executives and Engineers, the Fiscal Court recently passed a resolution to join with Cincinnati Bell to expand Broad-band, fiber internet access to every home in Campbell County by 2024. The county is making a huge financial investment to implement this much needed, 21st century utility. While it has been a long time coming, it is great to finally have this project underway. It was a team effort and one of my bedrock issues during my 2018 campaign. I personally met with engineers and executives at Cincinnati Bell numerous times over the past 3 years to address this issue. This effort will move our communities like few other projects could. When completed across Northern Kentucky, our region will be the most fiber saturated region in the entire nation!!
Restructured TANK’s service routes and reduced tax payer contribution –
Due to the increased operating costs of TANK, there needed to be a change in the service model and route accessibility. On a number of occasions I spent time with TANK’s director and Board of Directors to determine the best approach for our region. As a Fiscal Court, we partnered with TANK on system redesign to eliminate inefficient routes, improve frequency on high usage routes, increase access to jobs, and decrease Campbell County’s contribution. After listening to our resident’s needs and looking at how to best be a good steward of tax dollars, we developed a proper solution that will be long-lasting and keep TANK on a better fiscal foundation while saving taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars every year.
Collaborated with the State and County Road Departments –
To help make our county and state roads as safe as possible, I have collaborated with local and state directors along with state legislators to improve our roads and make positive changes for safer and more efficient travel. From having a turn light installed at the intersection of 536/US 27 to better signage in the area of 1936/US 27 it is my goal to find areas of concern and work to find solutions. I was able to draw significant attention to the area in front of Campbell County High School where water ponded up during and after an even moderate rain. After sending both pictures and video of the dangerous and unnecessary problem, the state brought in engineers and had it fixed just before school started this year. With ever challenging budgets at the state, we must address the roads and by-ways that are in most need of attention and work from there. As a Fiscal Court we have invested over $5M in County road infrastructure by replacing 5 bridges, repairing12 slide locations with 2,100 feet of pier wall, and resurfacing 25 miles of road since 2019.
I will continue to address issues that will keep our roads safer and our cars between the ditches. Below are a few examples of recent projects.
Increased Park Services and Programming for Park Patrons –
The Fiscal Court has worked to provide a better experience in our beautiful AJ Jolly Park. Recent capital investments include: Yurts, Private Picnic #2 shelter, RV Campground bathhouse, Kayak dock, Resurfaced all roads in the main park area, Small shelter roof replacement, added a Watercraft and Bicycle rental fleet, Campsite improvements (pavement, water, electric). As your Commissioner I met with multiple county directors to make the park more accessible by opening more areas for our patrons to utilize throughout the year . Together, the Fiscal Court recently adopted these significant changes that have been met with great reviews. There are more improvements on the horizon and I look to keep AJ Jolly Park one of the best in the region. Stay tuned.
- AJ Jolly Park programming: Festival on the Lake, Sun Valley Bluegrass Festival, Jolly
Thursdays, Halloween Spooktacular, Dragonboat Festival
- AJ Jolly Park utilization: 2016- 2,586 daily passes/ 1,774 season passes
2020- 2,160 daily passes/ 2,987 season passes
2016- 3,095 camping rentals
2019- 4,729 camping rentals (campground limited in 2020)
- 35,000 rounds played for a net profit of $105,000 (including capital expenditures) at AJ Jolly
Golf course from July 1, 2020 through June 30, 2021
Restructured Sanitation District 1’s (SD1) Fees –
In an effort to both address the costs of sanitation and to comply with the EPA consent decree’s rapidly approaching deadline, I met with the SD1 director on a number of occasions to better understand and provide input on what might be an amicable solution to our region and residents. Together, the Fiscal Court worked with SD1 on Clean H2040 Plan to address 1.5 billion gallons of annual sewage overflows while creating a more equitable rate structure. Furthermore, this restructuring will also provide the means for SD1 to be able to maintain and buildout infrastructure in the years to come. As our region grows at an unparalleled pace, these are the types of projects and vision we need from our local leaders.
Communication Among First Responders / Vital Departments-
Working with Boone and Kenton Counties, the Campbell County Fiscal Court has completed a state of the art digital radio system for first responders that allows all agencies to communicate with each other and offers improved coverage areas in Campbell County. This multi-million dollar, collaborative project replaced the antiquated analog system that limited communications of our first responders and other vital agencies across Northern Kentucky. This system will certainly help to make our neighborhoods and communities a safer place for everyone.
Additional Officers and Staff to Better Meet the Needs of Our Community –
Collaborating with the City of Highland Heights, the Fiscal Court added a Police Social Worker to be able to provide assistance to officers when dealing with domestic issues around our community. This is a valuable asset for both families and officers to meet an ever changing landscape in Campbell County. Likewise, to comply with Senate Bill 1, the Fiscal Court added 3 School Resource Officers (for a total of 5) to CCPD that serve Campbell County Schools in the unincorporated areas of Campbell County. These officers are a needed asset in our schools to provide not only a safe school environment but to also be an access point for children who are dealing with ever changing situations at home.
WORKING WITH OUR NEIGHBORS
Campbell County Senior Center –
We continue to operate the wonderful senior center with approximately 1,500 members and 120,000 annual units of service (highest in NKY); During COVID, the Center began offering virtual Tai Chi, Chair Yoga, Cardio Strength, Cooking / Nutrition, and Craft classes during COVID and will continue to offer these in addition to in person programming as we move forward. These program changes have been met with wonderful reviews and feedback and the staff is amazing as they meet the needs of our senior residents.
Veteran’s Affairs Supportive Housing –
The Fiscal Court has added Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (VASH) vouchers to our housing program to provide homeless veterans with housing assistance and case management & clinical services.
Caring for Stray, Abandoned and Lost Animals –
The Fiscal Court Animal Shelter has been able to decrease the euthanasia rate by 98% through new programs, increased partnerships with rescue groups and updated medical practices.
Mitigating Flood Issues –
Saved participating communities approximately $110,000 in flood insurance premiums annually by engaging in the FEMA Community Rating System. Additionally, backwater mitigation tanks are being installed in the Silver Grove area to help prevent backwater from the 4-Mile Creek from flooding low lying areas along Route 8 and into the adjacent neighborhoods.
Development In Our Growing County
Ongoing Development As The Bedrock of Our Economy –
Campbell County is a place people want to live and businesses want to be.
Here is a summary of some significant growth in Campbell County in just the past 3 years.
- Issued approximately 5,000 building permits with over $300M in construction value since 2019
- Significant developments: Tyson Foods on-site treatment plant ($62M)
Maxim Crane Works new headquarters ($4.7M)
Academy on 4th mixed use space ($37M)
Kent Lofts ($10M)
Manhattan Harbour (total development now at $400M)
Ovation Concert Venue ($40M)
Newport on the Levee redevelopment ($100M)
NKU St. Elizabeth/Ortho Cincy ($30M)
Northern Point at NKU ($100M scheduled)
- Ten current jobs development program incentive agreements
FISCAL COURT OPERATIONS
Consolidated Personnel at the County level –
In an effort to save tax dollars while continuing to provide quality services to our county residents, the Fiscal Court has consolidated and combined some positions at key personnel positions. By maneuvering various job responsibilities and combining others, the great staff of the county administration stepped up to make this goal work. As with all changes, we looked at feasibility, savings, and impact. In making these changes, we reduced personnel costs by $100,00 annually while increasing efficiency and improving service.
As your commissioner I will continue to ask for updates to better determine the long-term impact of these cost saving measures.
More Accessible Information For You –
Over the past couple of years, we have redesigned the Fiscal Court website and added a “Transparency” section for easily accessible meeting information, financial results and other information. This is in an effort to make sure that what we do as your representatives is there for you to see at any time.
For more information and to see the updated website, please visit https://campbellcountyky.gov/