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Two flooded city halls — in Independence and Taylor Mill — almost ready for return to normal

By Patricia A. Scheyer
NKyTribune reporter

When the temperatures dropped like a rock just before Christmas last year, and snow visited the area to blanket the cities and give people the much coveted, if not slightly soiled white Christmas, the water lines in many buildings did not survive the draconian freeze.

Independence damage (Photos by Patricia Scheyer)

The independence and Taylor Mill city buildings both had serious water damage over the holiday due to flooding from burst pipes.

“It was really a perfect storm with us,” said Independence City Administrator Chris Moriconi. “Our boiler motor went out virtually at the same time that the temperatures dropped drastically. Then the overhead sprinkler system froze, and two floors of the Administrative building flooded.”

Due to the flooding, the city had $500-600,000 worth of damage that they had to fix. The police department was spared, as was the council chambers, so all of the administrative offices were moved to temporary quarters in the council chambers.


Council meetings have been at the Kenton County courthouse in Independence during January, February and March, and Moriconi thinks possibly the April meeting might be at that location also.

“We are not sure right now, it’s 50/50,” said Moriconi. “The carpeting is due to be installed at the end of the week, and we just finished the painting. We were able to salvage 50 percent of the furniture, and the drywall is completed. We are counting on being back in the offices by April 1, but then the council chambers have to be ready.”

He said they don’t expect something like this to happen again. The rest of the winter months have been so mild the public works department has been pouring concrete for projects the entire time.

“What were the odds that the boiler motor would go out the same weekend of an extreme drop in temperatures?” he asked. “We did treat it as a teachable moment, and changed a few things, but overall it was a perfect storm!”

Catastrophe struck in Taylor Mill very early on Christmas morning.

Taylor Mill

Taylor Mill City Administrator Brian Haney received a call about 3 a.m. telling him that a major pipe had burst in the Police department.

“It was the longest pipe of any of them,” remembered Haney. “I was out of town, and I got back about 6 p.m. People had already gotten out the shop vacs and tried to clean everything up. While that was still going on, about 9 p.m. another pipe burst at the other end of the building, in the comission room. It was like four different places, and even though we got to it quickly, damage was done.”

Haney recalled that he immediately got on the phone and called remediation companies after Christmas, only to find that they were at the bottom of the list and were told they would get to them at some point.

“The Police Department had their computers compromised, so they had to be replaced,” Haney said. “We needed help sooner than later. Someone at the county knew somebody who worked for a company, and by Wednesday they were on the job.”

Taylor Mill

Remediation cost about $40,000, property damage was just under $50,000, and repairing the walls and floors came to $35,000, totaling about $125,000.

“Overall, we were very lucky,” said Haney. “We have completed the police department, and we are finishing the carpeting in Administration this week. The Mayor’s office needed the most work, my office and the city clerk’s office were not that bad.”

The Commission room is next on the list to replace the flooring and touch up the painting. Some of the furniture had to be replaced but not all of it. Council meetings and caucus meetings have been held at the community center in Park Place
since January.

“We hope to be in administration sometime in April,” said Haney. “The police are already in their department. We are shooting for the May Commission meeting to be out of the community center in Pride Park and back in the Commission room.”

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