by Jennifer Sierra
The May Bellevue City Council meeting was last night. There was a lot to cover on the agenda including approving the 10th Annual Block Party, which requires street closures at the 400 block of Foote, to be held June 13th. The block party is from 1:45 PM – 10:00 PM and there will be face painting, music and games. It promises to be a fun event for the entire family. The block party is spearheaded by Henry Casebolt.
Next on the agenda was Superintendent of Bellevue Independent Schools, Robb Smith. He was excited to announce a new partnership with Gateway Community College which would allow high school students to earn college credits while still in high school. All earned credits are transferable to other state colleges. 41 Bellevue students will be attending this program in the fall. This program will help prepare them for the college experience and give them a head start on their college careers. “Really some great savings for our families,” Superintendent Smith said.
Becky Wood, a partner with the Weller Haus Bed and Breakfast in Bellevue, Kentucky, stood up to address council and their lack of financial commitment to date for the Red Bike Initiative. Wood stated she had gotten many inquiries about the city’s support for the program. So far local businesses and citizens have raised $38,000 of the $50,000 needed for a Red Bike Station. Becky Wood said she could set up a special meeting with Red Bike’s Executive Director, Jason Barron to help convince members of council of the benefits of having Red Bike stations in the community. Council member Rodney Poynter pushed back with concerns about customers getting their credit cards charged inappropriately in bike programs in other cities. “I have a problem with our city becoming involved and funding a private business that has issues,” Poynter said. Council member Guidugli was concerned about people riding the bikes on the sidewalks and injuring pedestrians. Main Street Manager, Jody Robinson quickly pointed out that it is against the law to ride a bike on the sidewalk. Becky said that everyone should collect their questions and concerns for the special meeting.
A couple of new townhouses will be built by Ashley Developers and Rivertown Development Group on O’Fallon and Van Voast starting at the mid $5000,000 range. All units will have off street parking as well as garages.
Pit Bulls were a hot topic at this meeting. Like the Dayton City Council meeting the previous week, a lot of time and many of the same members of surrounding communities showed up to support the right to own a Pit Bull in the city of Bellevue. The city of Bellevue does not have an ordinance that prohibits the ownership of Pit Bulls, unlike the City of Dayton, Kentucky. Council member Dave Slater doesn’t support any ordinance in the city that restricts breed specific dogs. “We should put the responsibility on the owners,” Slater said. “What about cats? I have been bit by cats? The American Bulldog is often mistaken for a Pit Bull. I like how Independence handles it. The 2nd bite is a $10,000 fine.” Council member Melissa Tatum disagreed with Slater and said, “So we should not consider a dog vicious until it bites? It can’t be ‘wait until it happens’.” Council member Guidugli noted, “Everyone around us bans them except us.” Dayton and Fort Thomas both have bans on ownership of Pit Bulls. There was some discussion between Council members Ryan Salzman and Steve Guidugli about the case in Cincinnati last summer where a little girl lost her tongue and a huge portion of her face in a dog attack. The City Manager Keith Spoekler noted that there have been 20 fines issued for animal complaints since January of last year.
Bridget Vogt from the Bellevue Neighborhood Association broke the tension with an announcement about the new program for painting the cement garbage cans around town. They are painting 10 cans to start and hope to have them done by the end of the year. The program includes participation of local artists and art classes in the Bellevue Independent School System. She also reminded people that while the program to paint the garbage cans is funded by a grant, the BNA does accept donations.