Overview of Dayton, Kentucky’s City Council Meeting 9-1-15

by Jennifer Sierra

Screen Shot 2015-09-02 at 3.59.13 PMWe received clarification on some of the issues discussed at the recent Dayton, Kentucky City Council Meeting held on 9/1/15. Here is an overview of the meeting.

City Administrator, Michael Giffen started the meeting by talking about the underlying issue regarding the breaks in sanitation lines underneath the city streets.

Giffen said, “Homeowners are responsible for the repair of the private sanitary lines that run from their home all the way to the main connection line, which is usually in the center of the street.  Obviously when these lines break they can cause damage to the property, but when they break under or near the roadway they can cause serious damage to the public roadway.  The signs of damage usually are apparent in the form of sinkholes.  Repair of sanitary lines are not cheap, especially when the public roadway is damaged.  Because of the severe cost, the concern of having citizens contract for the repair of a public road, and SD1’s ability to compete the work in a timely manner, they instituted a program to cover the costs of damaged private lines if the break was causing damage to the public street.  In 2014 they suspended the program due to lack of funding, but still offered help in identifying where a break might be for the property owners.  Recently, they have attempted to reinstate the program with some changes.

The following documents are letters from SD1 that further explain the Sanitation Line policy. Click on the links to view the documents.

Notice of Program Change 8-15                           Repair Policy                              FAQ

The school District has made a request for additional parking on 5th Street because there is a new employee at the school and the spot was needed. Council approved the request.

Michael Giffen also gave an update on the park conversion approval for the transfer of the old riverfront park to be placed on Dayton Pike. “We expect to hear something in October about it. That is the end of Federal Fiscal Year and that is when the federal government will make their decision.” He also noted that funding is available for sidewalks on Dayton Pike and 6th Avenue. The city is hoping to get grants for these projects as well and the city hopes to start work on the design for those projects this winter.

Dept. of Transportation has been contacted about the traffic at the Manhattan Harbour entrance. There has been a lot of congestion at that intersection and they are working with the city to find a solution to alleviate it.

Dayton’s police Dog has been transferred to the city of Ludlow. Chief Halfhill said they felt the officer that trained with the dog was the only person that should work with the dog. “We thought it was in the best interest to let Officer Black take the dog to Ludlow with him. We are purchasing another dog for the city. We are going to Arkansas to pick up a new dog and hopefully have it on the street by November.” Council member Gifford said, “We are going to learn something from this experience, right? That it (the dog) will go with the officer it goes with.” The dog is city property so the city had to declare the canine surplus property in order to transfer ownership to Ludlow. According to Mayor Boruske, $6000.00 went into the general fund for the sale of the dog but will be taken out of the general fund to buy a new dog. Chief Halfhill stated Officer Marksbury is going to be the officer getting the new dog for the city. “We did raise the funds we need for a new dog. He has gone out and raised funds on his own and he has canines of his own.” All of the property that went with the previous dog, like kennels and vests, stays in Dayton.

Council voted to keep the city tax rate for the 2015 and 2016 fiscal year the same as last year. According to the motion read, “0.4950% for real estate; 0.5009% for automobiles and personal property; 0.7500% for all other property.”

The city also proposed a new daytime curfew ordinance for juveniles. The penalty for violating this is considered a class B misdemeanor. The city has had a problem with juveniles that had been suspended from school walking the streets and getting into trouble during the day. Chief Halfhill said, “We are having kids walking around during the daytime when they should be at home. They have been suspended and they need to be at home. We had this problem last year and I want to make sure there are no kids that have been suspended walking around.”

The codes department allows the people to report code violations on line. Council member Joe Neary would like to see the forms online made anonymous. “If someone wants to make an anonymous complaint, they can call during normal work hours and speak to someone in the office,” Annie Wuestefeld, the Code Officer responded.

Anthony Cadle reported he is working on obtaining a $2500.00 grant for flags or banners to dress up the Avenue. Part of the design idea is to alternate city flags with state flags and have them hang along the Avenue. Cadle announced some new businesses that have taken advantage of the CCAP incentive program which helps new businesses open their doors in Dayton, Kentucky’s central business district. Kate’s Catering is now open at 702 6th Avenue and Enrique Lopez is opening a law firm in the building that used to house Tina’s Tanning. Ables’ Upholstery is opening at 505 6th Avenue as well.

Fire Chief Auteri stated a sobering fact. “Squad runs are up over 100 from this time last year.” He also noted that the cities of Bellevue and Dayton are also up over 111 runs from this time last year with help from out of town units including, Newport and Southgate, servicing our citizens. “With the riverfront development and the addition of more citizens we need a second medic unit.”

Chief Halfhill stated the city hired 2 new officers, Josh Zebell & Brian Powers. The neighborhood watch meeting is 9/14/15. The Chief also informed everyone that Dayton police are working with Bellevue to help deal with the additional traffic into the city during Homefest.

Citizen Leslie Carr addressed council on absentee landlords. “When we talk about our budget and supporting police and the fire department, the way to raise revenue is to raise the property values. Our existing property values are being lowered by the existence of these rentals with trash and appliances. I went to the city clerk and she said the landlords around me don’t apply or pay for rental licenses, so we aren’t even getting that $50.00 a year in occupational fees.” The city clerk stated she is working with the city attorney on this issue. She said “we are working on it on a daily basis and sending the claims to small claims court.” Leslie suggested the city require any landlords to have a minimum of one garbage can for each rental unit. “That would be one way to keep track of rentals, create continuity within the community as well as keep animals out of the garbage.”

The last decision of the evening was a big one for Dayton and one that seems to cause disagreement every year among council members, when to have Halloween. The council decided to recognize Halloween on Saturday, October 31st from 6 PM until 8 PM. Council member Bill Burns spoke up to note that he didn’t think the two-hour time frame was long enough for the kids.

Watch the city council meeting here:


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