Taylor Mill promotes Mills to assistant police chief

James Mill's wife Sarah pins the badge on her husband, signifying his promotion from lieutenant to Assistant Police Chief in Taylor Mill.

Friends, family, and co-workers crowded the small commission room at Taylor Mill Wednesday and spilled over into the hall, waiting to see Lieutenant James Mills be officially promoted to assistant police chief.

“When you look at James’ career, he’s a 13-year-decorated veteran in the police department, he wears multiple hats, as one does in a small department, he is in charge of our state accreditation and our national accreditation,” said Police Chief Steve Knauf during the commission meeting Thursday. “He does many things for the department, but none are as important as helping me with the day to day operations. What he has done for this department in his 13 years here is just outstanding.”

Mill’s wife, Sarah, pinned his new badge on his shirt. Commissioner Rose Merritt gave Mills a plaque commemorating his advance in positions.

“He is a top notch officer, and easy to work with,” said Commissioner Dan Murray commented.

Mayor Daniel Bell said Mills does such a great job with the accreditation each time, and makes sure everything is just right.

New Assistant Police Chief James Mills holds his honorary plaque as he stands by Police Chief Steve Knauf at the Taylor Mill Commission meeting Wednesday night.

Just before the ceremony, commissioners passed the second reading of the ordinance that establishes the city pay plan for all positions, which includes the new position of Assistant Police Chief, and officially eliminates the Lieutenant position.

Chief Knauf asked commissioners if money could be set aside to fix the floor of the evidence room. He said the floor is in very bad shape, and the sooner they fix it, the less it will cost. He told commssioners he priced flooring, and he thought it would cost $4200. Commissioners agreed.

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Mayor Bell thought they might be able to take the money out the American Rescue funds which the city has received.

Knauf also said they need shelving units for the room, but he told them he had enough in his budget to fund the $1200 needed for new shelving.

Commissioners passed a resolution declaring ARPA funds to be used for loss revenues and placed in the General fund. The city is receiving a total of $1.7 million in ARPA funds.

Mayor Bell explained to commissioners that the county is applying for a grant to finish the Ky 536 corridor, and chances for success on being awarded the grant is helped by surrounding cities sending in letters of support along with a monetary pledge. Commissioners approved sending the letter and a pledge for $12,000.

City Engineer Shawn Riggs talked about the upcoming street repair program. Michels Construction won the bid for $759,059.20, and will be doing the work on several streets–Sunny Acres, Eureka, Beech, Roselawn, Homestead, Honeysuckle, Keavy, Valley Square, Heatherstone court, Stoneledge Court, and Millstone Court.

“This is the most aggressive street repair we have done,” said Mayor Bell. “And the most expensive.”

Assistant Fire Chief General Fernbach gave an update on the two major fires that occurred in the city recently.

He said the house on Highridge was struck by lighting, which immediately set the home ablaze. Everyone was able to get out, and the homeowner praised firefighters for pulling some family pictures out before they burned. The house was a total loss, however.

The second fire was on Taylor Mill road, and it started with a grease fire, where the family was cooking french fries on the stove. Firefighters were able to limit the damage on this house so that it wasn’t a total loss, but the entire back of the house was damaged.

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Fernbach praised the firefighters and the police for their actions. He also gave a shout out to the other fire departments who responded and helped with the fires, which were Covington, Ft Wright, Ft Mitchell, Independence and Edgewood.

Attorney Jack Gatlin reported that the Mason’s have filed an appeal in Circuit Court for their back taxes case, and the city has to wait to collect until that case is over. He said it is complicated, and not a normal situation, but he likened the situation to being in the seventh inning of a ball game, and it will eventually be over.

City Clerk Kristy Webb said their Easter egg hunt will be April 9, at noon in Pride Park, and anyone who would like to volunteer to help hide 10,000 eggs should call the city building.

She also said they will be having their shred event on April 23, from 9:30 to 11:30 am, and people are limited to 6 banker boxes of paper.