Saturday, August 12, 2000

Patton brings grants to N. Ky.

By Patrick Crowley
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        COVINGTON — Gov. Paul Patton played money changer in Northern Kentucky Friday, handing out $800,000 in federal grant dollars while helping two Kenton County Democrats raise thousands of dollars for their campaigns.

        The grants Mr. Patton gave Friday were:

        • $400,000 to the Carnegie Arts Center in Covington. Center president Susan Schuler said the money will be used to make the center — originally a library built in 1902 — handicap-accessible by adding an elevator.

        “Once we get that work done, we'll be able to get more federal money to do some restoration work we need,” Ms. Schuler said.

        • $99,520 to the City of Fort Wright, which will use the money to build a sidewalk along Highland Avenue and into the city's nature center.

        • $300,000 to the City of Villa Hills, which will use the money to extend water lines to about 40 families in the city and in neighboring Bromley.

        “Water is no big deal until you don't have any or you can't get any,” Mr. Patton said. “This ex emplifies what happens when people and government get together for a wonderful cause, like bringing good, fresh drinking water to people who don't have it.”

        The grant came about after a residents' group, led by Shelly Espich, lobbied local, state and county officials.

        “I'm pumped,” Mrs. Espich said. “This is going to make life better for a lot of families.”

        The families now use cisterns or purchased water for drinking and bathing.

        Mr. Patton lauded several officials and agencies for their work securing the grant including State Rep. Jon Draud; the Kenton County Fiscal Court and Judge-executive Dick Murgatroyd; the Northern Kentucky Water Service District; and the Villa Hills City Council and Councilman Mike Sadouskas, who led the effort.

        Several officials said a key to getting the money was the work of Sally Davis, Mr. Patton's Northern Kentucky liaison.

        “This was a team effort, and that's how you get things done in government, across party lines and by bringing people together,” said Mr. Draud, a Crestview Hills Republican.

        Friday evening Mr. Patton attended political fund-raisers for two Democrats on the ballot this fall:

        • Kenton County Commonwealth Attorney Don Buring, of Villa Hills, who is challenged by Bill Crockett, the chief prosecutor in the Kenton County Attorney's office.

        • Jaimie Henson of Independence, who is running against state Sen. Jack Westwood, an Erlanger Republican, in the 23rd Senate District.

        The amounts of money raised were not available Friday.


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