Thursday, January 11, 2001

Newport building will be moved, not razed

TANK bows to residents' concerns

By Terry Flynn
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        NEWPORT — The Transit Authority of Northern Kentucky apparently dodged a major controversy regarding its planned Newport Transit Center by agreeing not to demolish a historic structure.

        The TANK board of directors Wednesday announced a plan to move the Dickerson Building, located on Fourth Street near York Street, to a spot farther east on Fourth Street, thus avoiding the need to tear down the building to make way for the transit facility.

[photo] A photo simulation of the Newport Transit Center
| ZOOM |
        During TANK public meetings and Newport City Commission meetings last year, residents expressed concern over construction of the transit center, which would serve as a transfer station. A primary issue was the potential loss of the Dickerson Building, which houses Challenger Piping Co., owned by the Fennell family of Fort Thomas. “The residents deserve the credit for keeping the issue in the forefront,” Newport City Manager Phil Ciafardini said Wednesday. “The residents' major concern was preserving the building. The mayor and the transit committee worked with TANK, and the new plan is the result of all of that.”

        Ian Budd, who lives in Newport's historic East Row district with his wife, Pat, said he was “thrilled that TANK has taken this approach. I had proposed several months ago the idea of moving the building to eliminate the problem. I hope this works.”

        Corey Siddall, another East Row resident and outspoken critic of the transit plan, said Wednesday he was “astounded that TANK would move this far from their original position. This is quite a victory. Moving the building is certainly a lot better than tearing it down.”

        TANK officials have a conceptual site plan that permits construction of the transit center, which will take up about two-thirds of Fourth Street between York and Monmouth streets, without damaging the historic building.

        A one-story structure housing a Goodyear tire store and auto repair shop would be razed, and the Dickerson Building moved east next to the Beckmeyer Building, another historic structure.

        TANK officials said money to pay for the move had not been secured, but board members indicated TANK would move ahead with the relocation plan.

        The transfer center is expected to cost about $2 million, and TANK already has $1 million commited from the Campbell Fiscal Court.


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