Wednesday, June 2, 2004

Crestview Hills studies construction options

City building, police needs must be weighed

By Cindy Schroeder
The Cincinnati Enquirer

CRESTVIEW HILLS - Officials in this Kenton County city are studying whether to build a new city building, add onto the 20-year-old quarters, or build a separate police building for the Lakeside Park-Crestview Hills Police Authority, City Administrator Dan Groth said.

The city has set aside $1 million for the project in its proposed 2004-05 budget for whatever it decides to do. Most was saved during the past five years, Mayor Paul Meier said.

Crestview Hills, which has a population 2,889, shares a joint police authority with neighboring Lakeside Park, which has a population of 2,869.

"We want to give the police more room and a more professional atmosphere to work out of," Groth said. The current police quarters on Buttermilk Pike in Lakeside Park are just 700 square feet.

"The building we're in now is woefully inadequate," said Police Chief Paul Herbst. "We don't even have an interview room. When we want to interview or interrogate someone in private, we generally use the chief's office or the squad room, if it's after hours, and no one else is around."

Herbst said the police authority is "basically using a walk-in closet as (its) evidence room, and it's filled to the brim."

"Our employees are literally walking all over each other because of lack of space," Herbst said. "It's certainly not a good situation."

Although Crestview Hills officials were studying city building options before plans were announced for the redevelopment of the Crestview Hills Mall, a larger city building would provide more space for the plans Crestview Hills has about redeveloping the mall, Groth said. The redevelopment is expected to be finished by the 2005 holiday shopping season.

A building committee is studying city options and no deadline has been set for a decision.

Crestview Hills also is doing more than $150,000 worth of road improvements this summer.

One of the largest will be extending the merge lane of Thomas More Parkway to the first entrance of Five Seasons Country Club. That project, which will cost $91,000, is expected to start within two weeks and be finished by the end of summer, Groth said.

The rest of the street projects and improvements will cost about $60,000. They include the beautification of the Turkeyfoot Road median strip from Mall Road to the I-275 ramp, Groth said. That project is under way and should be finished by mid-June.

"That's the entrance to our city, and so many people come that way for St. Elizabeth (Medical Center) or the (Thomas More Park) Research Center or the mall," Groth said. "Crews are taking out all the ugly old concrete that a lot of people were using for an ash tray."

Grass will replace the concrete median, and the project will include a couple of ornamental trees, flowers and brick pavers.

"There will be temporary lane shutdowns on the north side as the work is done," Groth said. "Workers will be there from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. They won't be working during rush hours."

Other projects include replacement of a guardrail at the northeast corner of Dixie Highway and Winding Way with a wooden fence to match the other side, storm sewer management for Summit Drive and numerous street repairs throughout the city.



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