The new Dayton, Kentucky City Council and Mayor took their seats for the new term and they had a full agenda. Mayor Boruske announced the new Committee Members as follows: Parks and Real Estate: Chair -Joey Tucker, Bill Burns, Joe Neary; Public Safety : Chair – Jerry Gifford, Joey Tucker, Denny Lynn; Finance: Chair – Denny Lynn, Bill Burns, Joey Tucker; Personal Law and Printing: Chair – Joe Neary, Denny Lynn, Ben Baker; Public Works: Chair – Bill Burns, Jerry Gifford, Ben Baker; Economic Development: Chair – Ben Baker, Jerry Gifford, Joe Neary; Fire Board: Chair – Jerry Gifford, Ben Baker, Jeff Haas.
City Attorney, Jack Fischer, had his contract renewed with the city, with a unanimous council vote.
Police Chief, Scott O’Brien, updated council on the 1st stage of approval for cameras from the Homeland Security Grant. He reminded everyone that the next Neighborhood Watch meeting would be held on January 12th at 7:00 pm at the First Baptist Church in Dayton, Kentucky. Chief O’Brien also announced the creation of a new crime-fighting app for the police department. Dayton, Kentucky is the 3rd city in the country to get this technology. The free app allows the user to film or photograph a crime in progress and then send it immediately to the police department in Dayton. This eliminates someone from having to call 911 and verbally describe what they are witnessing. They have video proof of the crime in progress.
Bellevue Dayton Fire Chief, Mike Auteri, updated everyone on the fire at Manhattan Harbor Monday night and said that there were no injuries.
Rick Lucas from Public Works said that all of the paving projects are complete now.
Anthony Cadle, the Main Street Manager, gave an update on Light Up Dayton being a big success, with over 350 gifts handed out to kids and 60 lanterns released into the night sky.
The City of Dayton’s Code Officer, Don Riley, is retiring at the end of March and the city is taking applications for his job. They are looking for someone with blight experience and a level 1 building certification. Anyone interested should submit resumes to Michael Giffen, Dayton’s City Manager. Giffen also stated that they are looking to replace Barb Washington, who retired last year, with a part time person. Michael Giffen announced a public meeting to be held regarding Riverfront Commons on January 21st from 6 – 8 pm, to discuss the next phase for the river walk and pier.
Developers Jim Read, and Brendan Sullivan updated council on the apartment complex they are going to build on the south side of the flood wall at the end of Walnut Street. The playground will remain but it will be landscaped and updated. Two buildings are planned to be built on the spot with an average of two parking spaces per unit. There will be private garages with garage doors on the bottom level and the next level up will feature a single level garage. The apartment buildings will be approximately 40 feet above the flood wall and contain 36 two-bedroom units and 18 single-bedroom units with each unit having an average of 750 square feet. They are being built as high-end apartments with the hope of selling the units as condos in the future.
Michael Giffen reminded everyone that the city’s riverfront development cannot proceed unless the riverfront park is moved. The current park replacement project is suggested on Dayton Pike. The site has been studied and appraised thoroughly. The project has been in the works for the last two and a half years, according to Giffen. Plans for the open field, where deer currently are known to graze, were discussed at a public meeting in November 2013. The majority of citizens said they would like to see that parcel of land turned into a “passive” park where there would be naturalized green space as well as a parking lot, trail system, picnic tables and gazebo. “The land is not fit to be developed into anything else because of lack of stability,” Giffen stated. Councilman Gifford wanted a place to have new practice fields, tracks and tennis courts for the kids. “I totally agree with you”, stated Giffen ” but we don’t have available land to do that with. Doing so would require us to purchase more land from the Sanitation District.”
Catherine Hamilton, resident of Grant Park, said, “I understand that Dave Imboden is in a hurry to develop Walker Park. I don’t care that he is in a hurry. To push something through because a developer is in a hurry and someone that owns that property wants to sell it for $40,000.00 is not in the best interest of the citizens of Dayton.” Hamilton said.
Giffen responded by telling her that the things she had been saying weren’t true. “The National Park Service doesn’t care if the developer is in a hurry. There isn’t anything I or anyone in this room can do to hurry this along. This is a lengthy process that takes years to happen. I can’t get the city a new track and ball field because the city doesn’t own land that will permit it. It is the only option we have. We are trying to make the best of it.”
Hamilton retorted, ” Why can’t we explore other options? I think we should hire people to do more research. I am going to agree to disagree with you.”
Mayor Boruske assigned a committee of people to look into further options. The committee consists of Joey Tucker, Joe Neary and Jerry Gifford and Ms. Hamilton was invited by Mayor Boruske to participate in the group. The city of Dayton has a signed contract with Mr. Imboden of DCI Properties to transfer the park so he can develop the land on the riverfront where the former park was located.