City of Frankfort





1. Priority: Address impact of pension issue

Key issues:

  •  Education for general public and city staff
  •  Absorbing increased pension costs
  •  Continue to focus on growing community
  •  Pending retirements

Key Actions:

  •  Migration to modified zero-based budgeting to better align resources with needs/opportunities
  •  Efficiency analysis

Department(s) responsible: Finance

Update: Finance has continuously discussed the need to reduce costs and increase revenues to offset projected pension cost increases (presentation of projected cash flow analysis). Zero-based budgeting is a theoretical concept that does not work well when fixed costs are a large portion of the budget. Finance, however, set a budget guideline in order to reduce the 2018-19 budget to a more reasonable amount (budget is more in line with reasonable spending patterns). Commission is considering utilization of a 3rd party to do efficiency analysis.

2. Priority: An empowered and engaged citizenry that is heard

Key issues:

  •  Educated and informed workforce
  •  improve quality and quantity of board appointees and hold them accountable

Key actions:

  •  Work with employers and local partners (Chamber, KCDC & Schools) to promote IMPACT program and other workforce training opportunities
  •  Partner with schools and KCDC to pursue State and Federal workforce training opportunities
  •  Implementation of Board of Commission appointment process
  •  Website upgrade including citizen portal and push notifications

Department(s) responsible: City Manager’s Office, City Solicitor, City Clerk, IT

Update: The City of Frankfort IT department has partnered with FIS in the Mentor program. This program allows high school seniors an opportunity to work and explore the IT environment.

The new City website will be up and running June 28th and will include a citizen portal for web Q&A, work order creation, and general citizen interaction.

The Board of Commission appointment process is in place and working well. It should be reviewed in this Fiscal Year for necessary updates. Training for Boards is planned for this summer.

The City Manager’s office partnered with KCDC to submit a workforce grant that would help budge a gap and create a recruitment pipeline for post high school and college students. We anticipate a hearing in June 2018 regarding funding.

The City will be partnering with FIS to submit a 21st Century Learning grant later this year.

3. Priority: Beautification

Key issues:

  •  Policy of location(s) for existing or new plantings
  •  Partner with the State on gateways and corridors
  •  Urban forestry
  •  Invasive species

Key Actions:

  •  Neighborhood beautification grants
  •  Tree Canopy study
  •  KYTC/DOT maintenance partnership
  •  Invasive species education outreach

Department(s) responsible: Parks, Public Works

Update: A verbal discussion with city, county and DFI officials took place several years ago about downtown beautification. The central core was adopted for the planting and baskets, etc. of Broadway and St. Clair Street mall as this is the hub of activities such as Derby, concerts, etc. Next, St. Clair to the Singing Bridge was incorporated. Then Main St. was mentioned and as there are some on Main the inconsistency of light poles is a major problem. Staff is in the process of doubling the baskets on the light poles on Broadway and St. Clair. A ROW tree inventory was completed in 2017 and a park tree inventory was completed early 2018. Results were that Frankfort’s tree canopy is very good. Parks staff is planning a tree canopy inventory for fall 2018. An invasive committee was formed about a year ago, consisting of city and county officials and citizens to bring awareness of invasive species. When time allows, the city uses inmate labor for invasive removal in parklands. Educational materials are available to the public and are publicized through the city, tourism and the committee.

Public Works continues to work with the State maintenance department on weeds and roadside beautification.

4. Priority: City Hall and Fire Station 1

Key issues:

  •  Community assessment
  •  Location and Scope of project

Key Actions:

  •  Complete contract for evaluation and site location
  •  Capital and Operating Budget assessment

Department(s) responsible: Fire

Update: Brandstetter Carrol is finalizing its assessment and report of the fire station for the Commission with anticipation of presentation at a June Special Session. Included in their assessment will be assessment findings of the current fire station, space needs, renovation cost for current location, anticipated cost for new location, and various potential site locations. The Fire Chief has been working closely with Brandstetter staff to narrow down a site location and lay out, response times effects, and future needs of the department and community to ensure any future changes to station location and design provides sufficient coverage of our community. Following the presentation by Brandstetter staff, the next phase of the project will be site selection and schematic design, which is included in the current contract. As for City Hall, Brandstetter staff has completed their presentation and recommendations and no further work is being undertaken for the City Hall portion at this time.

5. Priority: Code and ordinance education – linking up ways to connect resources

Key issues:

  •  Consistent enforcement
  •  Public education and outreach
  •  Funding to continue improving neighborhoods

Key Actions:

  •  Review current code ordinance language
  •  Review processes
  •  Review role of City and partners
  •  Assess impact of neighborhood grant program

Department(s) responsible: Planning

Update: In October, 2017, our office held a series of public meetings to provide citizens information regarding Code Enforcement and to provide the public an opportunity to ask questions specific to their properties. After the meetings, inspectors performed a City-wide sweep to identify code issues on properties throughout the city. We then sent Courtesy Notices to property owners identifying code violations we found asking that they contact our office for additional information. Over 600 hundred violations were identified during this sweep. During the spring follow-up, in the first two weeks of the follow-up, 89 properties were looked at and 68 properties had already complied with the regulations.

In September, the third round of the City’s Neighborhood Reinvestment Grant cycle began. This year’s funding program added new neighborhoods and more dollars for reinvestment. Some funds that were allocated in neighborhoods were not used and this spring the Commission approved re-distributing the funding to the other neighborhoods.

6. Priority: Distinct economy for the City apart and separate from State government

Key issues:

  •  Lessen reliance on state government
  •  Better balance – diversify business sector

Key Actions:

  •  Partner with KCDC, Chamber, DFI and Tourism to identify growth opportunities

Department(s) responsible: City Manager’s Office, KCDC, Tourism, DFI

Update: KCDC: Investors Heritage announced a $1M expansion, at its 2nd Street location, and the creation of 75 new jobs (15 per year for 5 years beginning June 1, 2018) with a starting pay range of $30,000 - $100,000 with an average starting salary of $50,000. The impact of 75 new jobs at average annual salary of $50,000 will put $3.75M new dollars into the local economy annually. This project supports the city’s efforts to diversify our economic base and revitalize downtown and the Second Street Corridor. The decision of Investors Heritage to continue to invest in our community will not only provide additional employment opportunities for the citizens of Frankfort, but will also increase real value-added output and real personal income.

Deloitte opens new office in downtown Frankfort where 60 consulting and advisory practices professionals are now based. This enables them to serve their large volume of government; workforce and education policy; cloud-related technologies; integration services and cybersecurity clients. These jobs will provide over $4M new dollars into the local economy annually.

Sunday alcohol sales ordinance changes- DFI, Chamber of Commerce, Tourist Commission and KCDC worked with city government to encourage changing ordinance to allow less restrictions on Sunday alcohol sales. Ordinance changes are scheduled for a vote later this month. Removing the current restrictions will make recruitment of breweries, distilleries, wine bars, etc. that would not meet the current food requirements easier and encourage these establishments to locate in our community.

7. Priority: Effective lobbying strategy at local, state and federal level

Key issues:

  •  Action
  •  Funding

Key Actions:

  •  Develop budget
  •  Identify priority areas to pursue funding and policy implementation

Develop educational materials

Department(s) responsible: City Manager’s Office

Update: The city had another successful trip to DC. Our delegation consisted of representatives from the City, County, Chamber, FIS and KCDC. We had a full agenda meeting with agencies and our elected officials to discuss funding for schools, community development, community policing, recreation and the arts. We also used this as an opportunity to thank them once again for their support of the TIGER grant and to advocate for final IRS rules on the Opportunity Zone to help advance local interest that KCDC has fielded in investing in Frankfort. Specifically we met with the following agencies:


We plan to pursue an Our Town grant this fall to support an arts master plan. We also want to support the efforts of local arts organization and FIS as they pursue Arts Work and Challenge America Funding


We got the green light to pursue BUILD planning funds for the Holmes Street corridor. Applications are due July 19, 2018.


We’re on hold for COPS hiring and the CPD microgrants due to a court case that is happening in California. We will monitor this and be able to respond and apply for funding for a SRO and our Cops and Camera program


We advocated for policy changes to support our ability to apply for the Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership Program.


We had great discussion regarding our pursuit of a 21st Century Learning grant and arts grant for work with FIS.


To discuss planning resources for Holmes

I have had a debriefing with Andy Seth and City staff and we are actively preparing for grant applications that are due mid-June to mid-July. Our delegation was received very positively and these trips are critical to building relationships and creating a “first name basis” relationship with agency staff as we compete with cities across the US for these dollars.

8. Priority: Ethical government/open/transparent

Key issues:

  •  Education for general public
  •  Promoting culture of transparency
  •  Improving online presence

Key Actions:

  •  Implement online agenda
  •  Citizen issue tracking software
  •  Update city website
  •  Increase city brochures and other materials

Department(s) responsible: Community Relations & Grants, IT

Update: Community Relations and IT have been working with other departments to insure initiatives set forth by the City (Code Enforcement, Plaza Complex Citizen Engagement, TIGER Project) are known and understood by the public. Multiple meetings have been held in various sections of the City regarding these and other initiatives to inform and educate the public as well as several technical iniatives.

The new Agenda Software will be web-based and give citizens the ability to see not only the agenda, but attachments and detailed information about each agenda item. The agenda items will also be updated and available to citizens.

We have also utilized social media and the City website to inform the public about these and other City news items. However, a new City website scheduled to be rolled out on June 28 will offer more opportunities to give and receive City information. The new website will be more user friendly and we are working to give citizens the ability to request information and submit items of concern on the website.

Community Relations has also been working on several brochures to inform and promote City initiatives such as Riverfront Development, our Recreation and Trails System, the Holmes Street Corridor Redevelopment and our Brownfields Program. We anticipate a number of additional brochures in the coming months.

9. Priority: Infrastructure

Key issues:

  •  Technology
  •  Utilities
  •  Sewer
  •  Connectivity

Key Actions:

  •  Evaluate and prioritize funding strategy for prioritization of capital projects
  •  State and Federal partnership for funding

Department(s) responsible: Public Works, Sewer

Update: The mapping of stormwater infrastructure has been completed and a program of regular maintenance is being developed. Regular maintenance will decrease localized flooding issues. Our consultant is nearing completion on the design phase of stormwater improvements for the Collins Lane area. This is an extension of the existing system meant to reduce localized flooding and leave infrastructure in place for future projects as necessary. Design is continuing on the stormwater improvements for the Holmes Street/Willow area. These improvements are meant to decrease localized flooding in/around the Willow area and improve drainage from Meagher to Spring. Design is nearing completion on the stormwater improvements in the Holly Hills/Meadows area. This project is meant to replace some pipes and to improve drainage, reduce localized flooding. Design is completed and in the review phase for a stormwater project in the Blanton Acres area. This project is meant to divert runoff from Fort Hill around the Blanton Acres area to allow the existing stormwater infrastructure to work more efficiently. PW has had and continues to have meetings with home owners in Silver Lake to deal with some issues with storm runoff ponding on the street. PW has conducted meetings and engaged a consultant regarding stormwater runoff at Entrada in Tierra Linda.

The SCADA system at the WWTP is almost completed. Once this project is complete staff will be able to monitor the plant from anywhere they have an internet connection. This will allow the plant staff to respond to emergencies and track the plants performance better than ever before. The rate payers will not see this system but it is one that will greatly benefit them from behind the scenes. The Sewer Department has upgraded its Lucity program to include a web version so Sewer Staff can complete reports in the field with a tablet. This will improve the accuracy of the information that is put into the system and allow for better efficiency. This updated program will allow staff to respond and have the history of the area right at their fingertips. This will allow staff to make quicker and more informed decisions while they are in the field. The rate payers will benefit from this by receiving quicker and more informed decisions in times of emergencies.

10. Priority: Maintaining, increasing and enhancing partnerships

Key issues:

  •  Education is a priority
  •  Capital Plaza area, riverfront and downtown redevelopment
  •  Public safety

Key Actions:

  •  Increase presence and “story of Frankfort” at State and Federal level
  •  CityVisions contract for community engagement and master planning
  •  Community outreach by public safety departments

Department(s) responsible: City Manager’s Office

Update: Please refer to Priority #7 for update on State and Federal items. In addition, the city has developed a series of great materials regarding Riverfront Development, Downtown Development, Holmes Street, Brownfield, Arts & Culture and Recreation/Trails/Open Space.

Community engagement regarding Capital Plaza redevelopment continues to go strong. To date we have engaged thousands of people through events, surveys and online tools including our new website. Over 228 surveys have been completed, over 1,100 people have participated in stakeholder meetings and community conversations and our new website has had nearly 3,100 page views with over 2,200 of them unique page views. On top of that there were over 3,300 comments generated from the On the Table discussions with over 330 downtown specific comments to include in our analysis. This is a great team effort and we are appreciative of our partners in Fiscal Court, DFI, Tourism, KCDC and the Chamber in helping us with this engagement. A special thanks to Jordan Miller and Rebecca Hall who have done an exceptional job managing the public input process with Barry Alberts of City Visions and David Gamble of Gamble and Associates.

11. Priority: Master plan for Sewer

Key issues:

  •  Consent Decree
  •  Capacity
  •  Aging Facility
  •  Staffing

Key Actions:

  •  Direction from Division of Water
  •  Facility study
  •  Rate study
  •  Department review of organizational chart
  •  State and Federal partnership for funding

Department(s) responsible: Sewer

Update: The Plant Asset Management Plan and Alternatives Study were advertised in May and we have received four proposals. The team will evaluate all four and then interview each one. Once the interviews are completed we will request proposals from each to complete the final evaluations. The plan is to secure an engineering firm in 2018 and to have the Asset Management Plan completed in early 2019. Then sewer staff will plan plant projects and work on securing funding for each of the projects. This should start in the 2018-2019 budget year. The rate payers will not directly see the benefits of this project but they will benefit by having a system that is ready for growth and whatever emergencies or natural disasters may occur. Long term this will prepare the department for the future with technology that will grow with the surrounding area. The department continues with construction projects in accordance with the Consent Judgement in order to better serve the community and protect the environment.

12. Priority: Planned transformation

Key issues:

  •  Community assessment and input process
  •  Master plan for Capital Plaza area, including riverfront and downtown

Key Actions:

  •  Continue development of a State and Federal Strategy
  •  Implementation of CityVisions downtown short-term recommendations
  •  Community engagement and Master planning strategy for Capital Plaza Area including Riverfront and Downtown
  •  Assess financial incentive programs to implement

Department(s) responsible: City Manager’s Office

Update: Please refer to Priority #7 for update on State and Federal strategy.

The city has a contract with City Visions to conduct a communication engagement process and develop a master plan for the redevelopment of State Parcel B and downtown. There are 8 key tasks under the terms of the contract. The following is an update of activity from March – May 2018 for each task.

Task 1: Public Engagement

The Consulting team has continued its extensive ongoing public engagement process throughout this reporting period, continuing to engage the public in a variety of ways. The project website has been developed and is up and running. Two additional public engagement meetings were held on May 1st and May 8th with approximately 200 attendees. An additional public discussion with held on May 21st focused on engaging young professionals, with over 60 people in attendance. Three focus group sessions with State workers were also held. Additional discussions and information sessions were held with a variety of individuals and groups, including Frankfort bankers, business owners and operators, property owners and developers, representatives of the visitor and hospitality industries, the Bourbon committee, the Grand Theater, the School Superintendent, representatives of the YMCA, Kentucky State University, Envision Franklin County, Frankfort Bike/Ped, the development team engaged in the new State Office Building, and the Frankfort Women’s and Garden Clubs. In addition, the team has continued to keep local officials apprised of our work. This included meetings with the Franklin County Fiscal Court, the Frankfort City Commission, Judge Wells, Mayor May, Secretary Landrum, and the Capital Plaza Committee and Capital Plaza Board. Overall outreach in the first few months of our contract has been impressive and includes the following:

Task 2: Existing Conditions Evaluation

During this period, the consultant team has continued its evaluation of a variety of conditions existing in downtown Frankfort, ranging from building occupancies to parking utilization. This evaluation included site visits to a number of vacant and/or underutilized properties, discussions with property owners as to market conditions, occupancy rates, traffic and circulation conditions, flood plains maps, residential lease rates, streetscape conditions, etc. This task is nearing completion.

Task 3/4: Assets Inventory/Opportunities and Constraints

The development of an assets inventory/opportunities and constraints evaluation for downtown Frankfort is also nearing completion. During this reporting period, the consultant team has developed an inventory of assets and liabilities, and has begun its analysis of potential strategies designed to highlight its assets and reduce or eliminate its liabilities

Task 5: Economic Assessment

The consultant team has been heavily engaged in its understanding and evaluation of the market conditions that exist in downtown Frankfort, including leasing conditions, market absorption, vacancy and occupancy challenges, market reach, etc. Much of this information had been received through extensive discussions with local developers, property owners, business owners and operators, local bankers, and local economic development officials. This understanding will serve as valuable input to development strategies and options to be developed and tested in the next portion of our work.

Task 6/7: Bourbon Related Tourism/Visitor Attraction Strategy

The consultant team has spent a considerable amount of time this reporting period understanding Frankfort’s bourbon-related (and complementary heritage tourism) tourism strategy, including understanding the strength of position of downtown Frankfort as a bourbon tourism center. It has met with the representatives of the Visitor Bureau, the Bourbon group, as well as Buffalo Trace to assist in this understanding. It has also gained an understanding of the efforts currently underway to support and expand the breadth of Frankfort’s tourism attraction strategies.

The consultants have also reviewed tourism strategies underway in a number of other Kentucky communities/regions in order to, in effect, understand the competition. We have also begun to evaluate other elements in Frankfort’s visitor attraction strategy, including hospitality needs, food and drink deficiencies, support services, etc.

Task 8: Downtown Circulation/Parking/Connectivity

Considerable efforts have been undertaken on this task during this reporting period. A parking inventory has been completed and is currently under review; an analysis of the street and roadway access system has been developed; an evaluation of the major gateways into downtown is underway, and the connections to and from the River and downtown is being evaluated. In addition, the changes in the circulation system as a result of the Capital Plaza demolition have been monitored as to the resultant changes in traffic, access and connectivity.

Next Steps: With the existing conditions analysis and evaluation about to be completed, work will be concentrated during the upcoming 8 weeks on the development of the public realm improvement options (Task 9), and the three subarea development plans (Capital Plaza, South Riverfront, West Riverfront).

13. Priority: Promote Organizational Performance

Key issues:

  •  Policy updates
  •  Operational Efficiencies
  •  Performance measurement

Key Actions:

  •  Implementation of POP committee recommendations including creation of Efficiency Coordinator position
  •  Begin departmental review process
  •  Implementation of KLC Policy review recommendations

Department(s) responsible: Human Resources, Finance

Update: The Ideologists (Individuals Developing Efficient Original Logical Objectives Gathered In Support To Succeed) Committee (formerly known as POP) had a follow up meeting with Daro Mott, the Chief of Performance Improvement with Louisville Metro yesterday. We had a good discussion about how to the lay the groundwork for performing operational reviews. The purpose of these reviews is to allow us to evaluate the effectiveness of processes/programs and will identify improvement opportunities and hopefully generate some significant cost savings in some areas. We are also looking into sending some members of the committee to Lean Training. Lean Training will teach us to look for ways to create more value for customers with fewer resources.

3 Goals of the Committee:

1) Employee engagement – Eliminating silos. Engage the employees to make suggestions for improving operations and eliminating unnecessary expenditures.

2) Collecting data – Measuring to Monitor

3) Finding efficiencies – Saving money and improving processes

Nancy Bailey, a member of the committee, will serve as the Efficiency Coordinator. Nancy Bailey and Kathy Fields are currently seeking out training opportunities to assist Nancy in this new role. Daro Mott, Chief of Performance Improvement with the City of Louisville, has offered assistance to identify appropriate training.

The committee decided to follow the same approach the City of Louisville used by beginning with one department. Tom Bradley graciously agreed to begin an efficiency study with Solid Waste. The initial focus is expected to be on enhancing route logistics. Tentative timing is:

o Week of 6/11 - Nancy Bailey to visit the Solid Waste Division and receive an overview.

o Week of 6/18 – Tom Bradley to meet with Solid Waste Superintendent and Foreman to explain goals and upcoming data collection

o Week of 6/25 – Nancy Bailey and Mandi Hockensmith visit Solid Waste to begin collecting employee ideas regarding what they believe is important to measure. Data recording sheets will be developed that employees will keep in their trucks and submit at the end of each day to begin collecting data for analysis.

A draft Employee Handbook of 176 pages has been compiled and is undergoing initial review and revision. This should be complete by the end of July. The next phase will be distributing it to Department Heads for review and feedback during August and September. The final phase will be distribution to the Board of Commissioners, which is planned for the last quarter of 2018.

14. Priority: Strong diversified economy

Key issues:

  •  Lessen reliance on state government
  •  Better balance
  •  Infill development

Key Actions:

  •  Implementation of CityVisions downtown short-term recommendations
  •  Community engagement and Master planning strategy for Capital Plaza Area including Riverfront and Downtown
  •  Assess financial incentive programs to implement
  •  Partner with DFI on downtown database
  •  Capitalize on Bourbon Industry growth

Department(s) responsible: City Manager’s Office

Update: Please refer to Priority #7, #10, #12.

15. Priority: Unrecognized city liabilities

Key issues:

  •  Education for public, city staff and elected officials
  •  Operation efficiencies

Key Actions:

  •  Review and assessment of existing debt, reserves and financial
  •  Evaluate and prioritize funding strategy for prioritization of capital projects

Department(s) responsible: Finance

Update: Finance is continuously monitoring debt and cash flow (working with Raymond James annually on cash flow analysis-just completed sewer cash flow assessment). Also, Finance is gathering mid-range capital needs (currently gathering) and is setting aside funds for large capital purchases (Capital Improvement Account).

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