Call to Order and Roll Call
The4th meeting of the Interim Joint Committee on Appropriations and Revenue was held on Wednesday, September 26, 2012, at 9:00 AM, at the Newport Aquarium. Representative Rick Rand, Chair, called the meeting to order, and the secretary called the roll.
Members:Senator Bob Leeper, Co-Chair; Representative Rick Rand, Co-Chair; Senators Walter Blevins Jr., Joe Bowen, Tom Buford, Jared Carpenter, Denise Harper Angel, Paul Hornback, R.J. Palmer II, Brandon Smith, and Jack Westwood; Representatives Royce W. Adams, John "Bam" Carney, Ron Crimm, Mike Denham, Kelly Flood, Danny Ford, Derrick Graham, Keith Hall, Jimmie Lee, Reginald Meeks, Jody Richards, Steven Rudy, Sal Santoro, Arnold Simpson, Jim Stewart III, Tommy Turner, Susan Westrom, and Brent Yonts.
Guests: Ms. Gretchen Landrum, Executive Director, Northern Kentucky Convention Center; Ms. Candace McGraw, CEO, Greater Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky Airport; Mr. Roger Peterman, Chairman, Northern Kentucky Port Authority; Ms. Laura Brunner, President, Port of Greater Cincinnati Development Authority; Mr. Steve Stevens, President, Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce; Mr. Dan Tobergte, President and CEO, Tri County Economic Development Corporation; Ms. Jeanne Schorer, Executive Director, The Catalytic Fund; Honorable Chuck Scheper, Mayor, City of Covington Kentucky; and Mr. Jack Moreland, President, Southbank Partners, Inc.
Representative Richards moved to approve the minutes from the previous meeting as written. The motion was seconded by Senator Leeper, and the motion carried by voice vote.
Northern Kentucky Convention Center
Ms. Gretchen Landrum, Executive Director, Northern Kentucky Convention Center, discussed future convention center expansion. The expansion proposal is estimated to cost $35 million. Planned future expansions will bring an estimated $930,000 annually to the center, and an additional potential $4.5 million per year to the local economy. There has been an overall economic loss to the region of $50 million since 2005 due to the lack of funding for the proposed 2005 expansion plan. She requested that the committee provide either $35 million for the convention center expansion, or $3 million for continued planning.
Greater Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky Airport
Ms. Candace McGraw, CEO, Greater Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky Airport (CVG) provided the committee an update on the regional airport. CVG is an economic generator, supporting over 16,000 jobs with an annual impact of $3.4 billion. CVG is expanding its passenger and air cargo service, consolidating Terminal 3/Concourse A, and enhancing concession service. She discussed CVG’s relationship with DHL Express, stating that DHL has invested $105 million in its CVG global super hub since 2009. Staffing will grow to approximately 2,300 when DHL’s $47 million expansion is completed in early 2013. It will process 2.6 million pieces of cargo per month and sort 92 percent of all US delivery shipments. The Terminal 3/Concourse A consolidation opened in May, 2012, and has had a positive response from passengers. CVG is working on updating its master business plan and business model, which will serve as a blueprint for CVG growth through 2035.
Ms. McGraw discussed several customer service improvements made at CVG, which include enhancing retail and food options, free Wi-Fi, and USO military lounges in Concourses A and B. CVG has introduced a mobile web application and is providing frequent customers with email updates about the facility. The TSA pre-check program has been introduced at CVG to improve passengers’ experience.
Northern Kentucky Port Authority
Mr. Roger Peterman, Chairman of the Northern Kentucky Port Authority, and Ms. Laura Brunner, President of the Port of Greater Cincinnati Development Authority, discussed the duties of the authorities, which support multi-county initiatives and issue bonds for multi-county organizations. The Northern Kentucky Port Authority would support possible legislation to expand the development authority beyond river transportation, similar to Port of Greater Cincinnati Development Authority. The Port of Cincinnati is involved not only in public finance, but also in real estate development, land reutilization, and non-river related transportation and logistics.
Brent Spence Bridge and the Angel Investment Tax Credit
Mr. Steve Stevens, President of the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, and Mr. Dan Tobergte, President and CEO of the Tri County Economic Development Corporation, discussed the Brent Spence Bridge project. Mr. Stevens discussed the various reasons a new bridge is needed, including the need to alleviate congestion, decrease accident risk, and update a bridge that has become insufficient and obsolete. He discussed the importance of the I-75 corridor to personal and cargo transportation to the regions.
Mr. Tobergte said a new bridge would be built, the current bridge would be rehabilitated, and 7.8 miles of highway, ramps, and access roads would be reconfigured. The project’s anticipated cost would be $2.7 billion. A potential solution would be a collaborative agreement between Kentucky and Ohio. The first step would be a value for money study to determine the tolerance for tolling and suggest a preliminary financial plan. There is potential for a public-private partnership, which would allow for a shorter build timeline, lessen the financial risk to the state, and reduce the needed initial capital investment. The estimated completion is 2023 if private funds are not utilized. The completion date would be 2018 using a combination of public-private funds.
Mr. Tobergte discussed the proposed Kentucky Angel Investment Act, 2013 RS BR77, which would provide individuals a 40–50 percent Kentucky income tax credit for certified investments.
The Catalytic Fund
Ms. Jeanne Schorer, Executive Director of the Catalytic Fund, summarized the activities of the fund. The Catalytic Fund is a private sector, not-for-profit organization that provides financing assistance and related services to developers of quality residential and commercial real estate projects in northern Kentucky’s urban cities. The fund provides various services to individuals including gap loans and equity investments, land banking, and financial packaging. It provides capital through a $10 million investment fund to fill gaps between traditional underwritten loans, developer’s equity, and project costs. A portion of the fund is also allocated to land banking activities. The fund requires repayment of all capital loaned, but it can be flexible in terms allowing time for projects to become successful.
Riverfront Commons/Covington Waterfront Development
The Honorable Chuck Scheper, Mayor of the City of Covington, and Mr. Jack Moreland, President of Southbank Partners, Inc., discussed the Riverfront Commons project. This proposed project includes an 11.5 mile walking/biking trail that would begin at the I-275 bridge near Ft. Thomas and end at the city limits of Ludlow, Kentucky. It is envisioned to connect all the south bank of the Ohio River cities with riverside trails and venues within each city. There are segments of existing walking/biking paths, but they lack connection to make it one continuous system. The project would make these connections. Also, the project would conduct a feasibility study with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers concerning the degree of erosion and ecosystem damage along the south bank of the Ohio River. The study would concentrate on assessing damage, suggesting repairs necessary, and suggestions to maintain a stable river bank.
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 10:54 a.m. A copy of all meeting materials and a cassette recording of the meeting are available in the Legislative Research Commission library.