Friday, October 19, 2001

Villa Hills accentuates the positive

Sunday celebration set

By Cindy Schroeder
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        VILLA HILLS — The city recently known for its political turmoil has designated Sunday “Celebrate Villa Hills Day” to focus on what's good about this suburban Kenton County community.

        “There have been so many good things that were overshadowed by what was going on (in City Hall) earlier this year,” said resident Vicki Kilburn, who helped organize the event. “What we wanted to do was highlight some major improvements and programs that continued through all of the hardships.”

   • What: Celebrate Villa Hills Day
   • When: 2-4 p.m. Sunday
    • Where: Parking lot of Villa Madonna Sports Complex at Palomino Drive and Amsterdam Road.
   • Activities: Hayride, balloon animals, petting zoo, firetrucks, 3 p.m. ribbon cutting to recognize recent capital improvements in the city, informational booths from Villa Hills police and the Behringer-Crawford Museum and display of entries from a citywide poster contest.
   • Directions: Take Buttermilk Pike to Collins Road, which dead-ends into Amsterdam Road. Turn right on Amsterdam, then take the first left into Villa Madonna's parking lot. A shuttle goes to the event.
        Activities are set for 2-4 p.m. Sunday in and around the parking lot for the newly renovated Villa Madonna Sports Complex.

        Longtime resident Tom McGoy said organizers hope to see 400 to 500 at the family event.

        “We want to celebrate all the good things that have happened lately,” Mr. McGoy said. “I think this will show our city's headed in the right direction.”

        Recognized by Cincinnati Magazine as the Tristate's “Most Liveable City” in 1994, Villa Hills (pop. 7,948) had become better known for its volatile council meetings by March of last year.

        Council members and former Mayor Steve Clark battled over everything from building sidewalks to putting together the city budget. Meetings often dissolved into arguments and shouting matches. Residents on both sides packed the meetings, adding to the rancor. And the mayor and his council critics were targets of audits and investigations before Mr. Clark resigned last March.

        With Celebrate Villa Hills Day, residents hope to put much of that in the past.

        New capital improvement projects slated for recognition include:

        • A $249,000 renovation of the Villa Madonna Sports Complex. Instead of 2 1/4 fields, there now are three baseball fields and three soccer fields, said Recreation Director Tim Reese.

        • Dedication of new sidewalks along Collins and Amsterdam Roads.

        • Dedication of new 8-inch water mains, a $407,000 project that will bring public water to eight homes on Amsterdam Road and another 33 households along River Road in Villa Hills and Bromley, as well as Hayward Street in Bromley.

        All of the homes should be connected in a couple of weeks.

        • Initiation of the Karen Foltz Memorial Tree of Life Program. Named in honor of a late Villa Hills resident, the tax-deductible program solicits donations for a fund to finance the planting of trees and shrubs beyond those provided for in the city's annual budget. Donations of $50 or more will allow the donor to designate the contribution as a memorial for a living or deceased friend or relative.


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- Villa Hills accentuates the positive