BY HALIE BARGER S taff R epoRteR HP rePorter @ registerPublications . com When Lawrenceburg Mayor Kelly Mollaun began the year, a global pandemic was never one of the chal- lenges he thought he’d have to work through. Now, almost a year into the COVID-19 pandemic, Mollaun feels optimistic for the future of Lawrenceburg and its people. “These were unprece- dented times, nobody had a script for how to handle this pandemic,” he said. Because the pandemic forced people into a stay- at-home mode, many busi- nesses lost out on a lot of their income. The city offered a small business grant pro- gram where it gave $3,500 to small businesses in town during the initial months of the shut down to help busi- nesses make rent and other necessary payments. Out of the 77 grants given out, 75 of the businesses are still oper- ating. “We’re very happy we were able to maintain those 75 businesses,” he said. During the months of May and June the city offered its residents free utilities to give back during the lockdown. Mollaun was also proud that the city was able to open its pool during the summer months this year. “We did it with a lot of re- strictions, but it worked,” he said. “We had an abbreviated season but we were able to get a place for the kids and adults to go and cool off dur- ing the summer months.” Mollaun and the rest of the city worked to ensure that, despite the coronavirus wreaking havoc on the world, Lawrenceburg residents could safely enjoy events and activities through the sum- mer, like Music on the River. Lawrenceburg was able to maintain 24-hour police, re and EMS services to the city. Mollaun said this is something that kept the city going “I think that says a lot about our workers and their commitment to making sure they’re doing a good job for our constituents,” he said. Mollaun and other city of- cials broke ground on a new development on the west end of High Street downtown for luxury apartments with Fla- herty and Collins called Whis- key River. The $30 million apartment complex will have 150 one- and two-bedroom apartments. “We’re excited to see that proceeding and progressing,” he said. “Hopefully within 18 months we’ll start renting apartments out that overlook the river.” A new restaurant and cof- fee shop opened last year as well, he said. “We’ve had more people contacting us about mov- ing their businesses to Law- renceburg during the pan- demic than we did prior to it,” he said. “A lot of that has to do with how we’ve handled that, I believe, and that’s coming from their mouths not ours.” Four of the ve city coun - cil members were new in 2020. The city also got a new clerk-treasurer and a new utility director. “It was a heck of a learn- ing year for those new folks especially with COVID,” he said. “They’ve done a won - derful job.” The city has already start- ed planning events for 2021. Mollaun said the city will move forward with events as though there are no restric- tions, but if there are the city will comply. “We’ll obviously abide by the health department and state guidelines when those events come up,” he said. He said he’s looking for - ward to a lot more normalcy in 2021. One project Mollaun is looking to accomplish is x - ing the road slip on old State Route 48, or Bielby Road. In 2020 the city had to shut down a portion of the road due to safety concerns. The city applied for a Community Crossings grant to x it, but was told the pandemic might affect the funding. “We were telling our resi- dents up there that this could be a two-year closure,” he said. “Well, low and behold, the state came through and opened up the Community Crossings, we applied and got what we asked for.” The city was awarded $791,809 from the states, and with the city kicking in another 25% of the pro about $1 million project, has com- mitted to xing the road slip. Mollaun said the project is at least a year ahead of sched- ule. “Last thing I want to do is keep that road closed,” he said. The city also received a $600,000 grant for stormwa- ter improvement on Doughty Road. Mollaun said in 1997 ooding caused a lot of dam - age to properties near the shopping center there, so the city installed pumps and other tools to make sure it doesn’t happen again. Now, he said it’s time to replace those things. “We don’t want another 1997 down there,” he said. “So, we applied for a grant to replace that whole stormwa- ter down there.” Mollaun said the $600,000 will put a large dent in the out- of-pocket cost for the city. The Arch Street Park play - ground equipment upgrades are also on the city’s 2021 to-do list. The city received a grant for over $200,000. Mol- laun said he expects demo- lition to start next week with hopes to have the playground ready May 1. “We have a lot of nice things here in Lawrence- burg,” he said, “but they all need upgrades from time to Lawrenceburg mayor looking to normalc y in 2021 No stopping from making Greendale a better community BY HALIE BARGER S taff R epoRteR HP rePorter @ registerPublications . com A global pandemic didn’t stop Greendale Mayor Alan Weiss and the rest of the city from continuing to work to make the city a better, more ef cient place for its residents. “It (COVID-19) didn’t stop us from anything we were do- ing infrastructure-wise,” Weiss said. 2020 came with its chal- lenges, but the city continued work on its major projects. One thing Weiss said he is looking forward to is the con- tinuation of the electrical infra- structure upgrades. “By having the newer sys- tem, it’s more dependable,” he said. He said the city needed the electrical upgrade be- cause the majority of the infra- structure now was operating on a system built 40-50 years ago. “We want to get with the 21st century and by upgrading our electric to where it should be, where it should have been, it’s just a more reliable system,” he said. The electric upgrade is co- inciding with upgrades Anchor Glass is making to its plant at Belleview Road and Ridge Av- enue. The work’s importance seemed to increase even more with St. Elizabeth’s ac - quisition of Highpoint Health. The hospital expects to build a new cancer center near its of ce near Interstate 275 and U.S. 50 in the very near future, something that has been in the works for a while now. St. Elizabeth also said the company expects a new hospital there within the next ve years, or so. This is why Weiss feels an electrical infra- structure upgrade was neces- sary. “With St. Elizabeth com - ing, we want to make sure we have the right infrastructure to support that,” he said. “We want to make sure they have everything they need to suc- ceed.” COVID-19 took a toll on riverboat revenue Greendale received in 2020. Weiss said the city was about $300,000 short on the revenues due mostly to that money. The forced closure of non-essen- tial businesses during the pandemic and then the limited capacity thereafter decreased revenue the casinos received which, in turn, decreased the revenue Greendale receives. “There were some things that we had to push down lat- er,” he said. One of those projects was a new water line down Nowlin Avenue. He said the city was hoping to start that in 2021, but because of the shortage on riverboat revenue, that’s something that might have to wait until 2022. COVID-19 also forced the city to cancel many of the recreational activities that were scheduled to take place throughout the year. The pool was closed this year due to the virus; the Christmas tree lighting ceremony and petting zoo were also canceled. The city still had its Movies in the Park event, but he said even that wasn’t as well attended. What was nicely attended was the annual shing derby, but S ee GREENDALE, p age 5