Carroll to participate in port redesignation
Wednesday, January 29, 2014 10:00 AM
Carroll County officials reconsidered a resolution allowing the county to join in a 200-mile port redesignation of the Ohio River and possibly become part of a top-10 port area in the nation.
Representatives from the Northern Kentucky Port Authority, Port of Greater Cincinnati and the Central Ohio River Business Association met with Fiscal Court magistrates during a meeting Tuesday to discuss how a port redesignation might help to attract business to the area.
Melissa Johnson with the Port of Greater Cincinnati said a larger port designation could catch the attention of companies looking to relocate to an area with transportation opportunities via river traffic.
The commercial traffic on the Ohio River is much more robust than what the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers - or potential businesses - recognize, she said. Officials estimate 50 million tons of goods are shipped and received each year in the area they hope will receive redesignation.
Officials from the port authorities and business association told magistrates the redesignation resolution would allow the new entity to track statistics, which aren't tracked by any other port.
Only tonnage statistics are tracked by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and used for state data.
Carroll County Judge-Executive Harold "Shorty" Tomlinson and representatives told magistrates the resolution wouldn't allow for any taxing authority of any kind or limit the creation of a port authority in the county.
"We really don't relinquish any rights," Tomlinson said.
Currently, the Port of Greater Cincinnati spans about 20 miles and ranks 51 on a list of the top 150 ports in the United States.
With the port redesignation, representatives believe the port area could become one of the top 10 ports for shipping and receiving tonnage in the nation.
The port redesignation will include 11 Kentucky counties - including Carroll and Trimble - and five Ohio counties if approved by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Carroll County magistrates had previously discussed the issue of port redesignation, but the resolution motion died for a lack of a second because magistrates had several questions on the issue. After discussions, Carroll County magistrates unanimously approved the resolution during Tuesday's meeting.
Representatives expect to file paperwork with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for the port redesignation in the coming months.
In other business:
Tomlinson gave a report about the heroin epidemic throughout northern Kentucky. Officials gave statistics at a recent meeting showing just how damaging the epidemic has become in the area.
Officials cited 31 deaths relating to heroin in 2011. In 2012, the eight counties in northern Kentucky reported 61 deaths from the drug. Tomlinson said officials reported 108 deaths in the first nine months of 2013.
"The way it's growing, (heroin) should be a concern to all of us," Tomlinson said. "Sooner or later, it can cost them their life."
Tomlinson said officials discussed the need for funding to curb the drug issue and to provide treatment centers for those who need help with addictions.
"I know it's a concern here like everywhere else," he said.
The Fiscal Court agreed to apply for funding to complete the Parks to Parks Trail.
County officials plan to apply for funding to add to the trail from the archery range in General Butler State Resort Park to the Kentucky River locks. Magistrates also hope to extend the trail from its current end on KY 227 to the county park.
The 50/50 grant has an application deadline in March.
A waste tire clean-up effort should be returning to the community this summer. Tomlinson told magistrates the waste tire management program would make a stop in June.
The stop will be the first tire clean-up event in three years.
"We've probably got close to 1,000 tires out there we need to get rid of," Tomlinson said, noting several spots throughout the county have hundreds of old rotten tires.
The program will allow county residents to properly dispose of the tires at no cost to the county.
The Fiscal Court opened a bid for a cardiac monitor and defibrillator from Physio-Control. Magistrates agreed to accept the bid of $30,287.06 after materials are reviewed by emergency management director Ed Webb.
The monitor will be paid for by a Homeland Security grant, Webb said.