Tuesday, May 15, 2001

Monmouth appeal rejected

Owners' suit filed too late, judge rules

By Terry Flynn
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        NEWPORT — A judge in Campbell Circuit Court rejected an appeal of city-ordered assessments by a group of Monmouth Street business/property owners because the appeal was filed after a 30-day deadline.

        Judge Leonard Kopowski denied the appeal, filed by the property owners to halt the planned streetscape project on Monmouth Street, indicating that it missed the prescriped deadline of April 11.

        Covington attorney Tony Brinker, who filed the action on behalf of the business owners, said Monday he would discuss the situation with his clients “and I'll recommend that they appeal the judge's decision.”

        Mr. Brinker said he could ask Judge Kopowski to reconsider his ruling, or the property owners could take their case directly to the Kentucky Court of Appeals. He declined to discuss specifics of the filing deadline or what an appeal might include.

        City commissioners in March approved the project, which has been in the planning stages for several years. It calls for paver-style sidewalks, new curbs and removal of overhead wires along Monmouth Street from 11th Street to Fifth Street. Utility lines are to be run underground.

        Under the ordinance permitting the assessments, property owners along Monmouth would be assessed $35.98 per linear foot annually for10 years. The city has about $1 million in grant money.

        The city also approved a three-year moratorium before starting collection of the assessments.

        Some of the property owners appealing assessments have said they would prefer the city wait to start the project until they learn if other grant applications filed recently will have additional funding.

        City officials have said they are prepared to move ahead with the project, which includes signing contracts with the company performing the sidewalk work and with Cinergy, which will remove the overhead lines and utility poles and install the underground electric lines.


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