The2nd meeting of the Budget Review Subcommittee on Economic Development and Tourism, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection of the Interim Joint Committee on Appropriations and Revenue was held on Thursday, October 22, 2009, at 10:30 AM, in Room 171 of the Capitol Annex. Representative John A. Arnold Jr., Chair, called the meeting to order, and the secretary called the roll.
Members:Senator Ernie Harris, Co-Chair; Representative John A. Arnold Jr., Co-Chair; Representatives Dennis Horlander, Dennis Keene, Lonnie Napier, Ruth Ann Palumbo, Marie Rader, Fitz Steele, Jim Stewart III, and Susan Westrom.
LRC Staff: Kelly Dudley, Perry Papka and Christina Williams.
Chairman Arnold called the meeting to order at 10:37 A.M. He welcomed Representative Keene and the Southbank Partners and thanked them for coming to present information about the organization to the committee. Senator Harris stated that normally the Northern Kentucky people that come before the committee are very unified and have their priorities set and are ready to present to the committee what their needs are in a very unified manner. He commended them for doing so; however, he was curious as to how Southbank fits into the equation and what it is that Southbank does.
Representative Keene thanked the committee for allowing them to present and proceeded to answer Senator Harris’ question and inform the committee as to what the mission of Southbank Partners is in depth. Representative Keene introduced Mr. Jack Moreland, President of Southbank Partners and also one of Southbank’s Board of Directors, Mr. Roger Peterman.
Mr. Peterman informed the committee of the history of Southbank Partners.
President Moreland proceeded with a PowerPoint presentation to further inform the committee about Southbank and some past and current developments in Northern Kentucky that it has been either in charge of, or associated with. A DVD was also shown to help illustrate the vision of Southbank Partners.
Senator Harris asked in reference to the “Phase 1” subject within the presentation if the piers for the boats to dock were only temporary. Mr. Peterman stated that was correct. He further indicated that there is debris that flows out of the Licking River during heavy storms and collects along the shoreline. He stated the collection of the debris is another major issue that needs to be tackled.
Representative Horlander asked if Southbank and its Northern Kentucky counterparts come to the General Assembly for assistance for each project or if they are located in an ADD district. Mr. Peterman stated they come to the General Assembly per individual project and they are not in an ADD district.
Chairman Arnold asked if Southbank has any say so as to how funding is funneled through the projects, when money is granted to Northern Kentucky by the General Assembly. Mr. Peterman stated they do not and that the monies are funneled through the cities and counties, not through Southbank. Representative Keene stated that the organization and all the surrounding cities and counties work together to prioritize projects.
Senator Harris commented that the “nit picking” is being done at the local level in Northern Kentucky, and when they approach the General Assembly, Northern Kentuckians seems to have their priorities and requests in order and are united in their purpose. He stated he appreciates that as a Senator.
Representative Palumbo stated that she was very impressed that Northern Kentucky has a Developers Day. She further stated she would love to attend it next year.
Representative Westrom stated she was impressed as well with Southbank and its Northern Kentucky counterparts and the progress that they have made. Representative Westrom stated what a walkable community Northern Kentucky was and how it would be a nice place to retire in the future.
Representative Napier stated that the key to success is that everyone is one the same page. He further stated that if a community works together like Northern Kentucky is doing, things will come together. He indicated that his small community works together and is successful because everyone is on the same page and encourages Northern Kentucky to continue to do so.
Representative Keene stated that a bank in China has recently expressed interest in investing $2 billion in commercial real estate somewhere along the Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky riverfront. He further stated jobs in Kentucky will be created if that occurs.
Representative Steele asked approximately how many people attend the Fireworks show on Labor Day weekend, and of that amount how many people attend on the Kentucky side.
President Moreland stated there are approximately 500,000 people per year that attend the show and he estimated about half attend on the Kentucky side. He further stated the waterfall off of the bridge in the fireworks show is off of the Purple People Bridge.
Senator Harris stated he believed the convention center that was developed as a result of the 1995 special session, has been a main cause in helping develop the Northern Kentucky area.
President Moreland stated Senator Harris was correct and that is why Southbank was formed and anything Southbank has done has been because of the development of that convention center. President Moreland stated if an expansion was made to the convention center, more business could be brought in, because as of now meetings are being turned away because there are not enough meeting rooms in the center.
Chairman Arnold thanked Southbank and Representative Keene for their presentation and adjourned the meeting at 11:43 A.M.